We all long for Love – it is a basic human need. It is essential to our survival – both mentally and emotionally.
Yet it can feel very elusive – you think you found love and then it disappears. We desperately need a consistent, reliable source of Love in order to be happy and healthy.
For years, I searched for this Love. It was fleeting – I’d experience it here and there, but I never knew how to access Love when I needed it.
But then I read a book that totally changed my perspective. That book directed me how to find the Love I was looking for! And I found it! It totally changed my experience of life. Now I can access a reliable, constant source of Love ANYTIME I need it.
Can you say that?
I want to share with you the Truth that set me free from the search for Love. It has really changed me inside. I am so much more secure and happy. I no longer feel like I’m always looking for Love – because I already have access to it 24/7.
The book I read was Experiencing Father’s Embrace by Jack Frost. One line in the book changed me. He said, “You have already received all of the love of God that you will ever receive.” When you open your heart to Christ and invite His Spirit to come into you, He brings all of God’s Love. You have it – right there inside of you!
So instead of searching outside of myself for this Love, I discovered it was hidden in plain sight – inside my spirit! Then I had to figure out how to access it. I asked the Holy Spirit to show me how to tap into this Love. I think it’s very individual – I can’t really explain how to do it other than to say, ask Him and He will show you – it’s inside of you, inside of God’s Spirit in your inner being.
I also realized that anytime I feel completely alone, unloved, unwanted, rejected, abandoned, etc. – that is a LIE. I am being deceived in my mind. Because if God’s Spirit is inside of me, then I am NEVER alone, unloved, unwanted, rejected, abandoned – NEVER. In fact, one day He showed me that since we are one with Him, it’s actually impossible to be alone. He never leaves us.
The challenge was learning how to disbelieve the lies that felt so true – that were making me feel bad. I had to learn how to believe what God said and learn how to access the Love of God inside of me so that I could feel it. I know people say, “Don’t go by your feelings.” but in reality, we are emotional creatures for a reason. God has feelings and so do we. They are meant to help us.
I am created for Love – God made me that way. He made you that way too. And you can FEEL His Love every single day. I promise. Ask Him to show you how. It really is possible – even for YOU.
Now I can “soak” or “drink” up His Love in my heart, mind, soul, spirit and body anytime I want to – when I’m having a bad day, or I’m stressed or whatever. I’ve noticed since I started doing this that I no longer fear being rejected by other people. I realized that if someone rejects me (or doesn’t like me), it’s THEIR issue, not mine. I am already LOVED and valued and appreciated by the One that matters most in my life. We are commanded to Love each other and if they don’t love me, that’s their problem to deal with. I can just be ME!
I hope this inspires and encourages you. You are not alone. You are Loved. You can receive His love today – just ask Him to come and fill your heart with His love until you feel it. Open your heart and let it come in.
Have you experienced this yourself? If so, please comment below. How do you do it?
This post is to continue the discussion of Spirit vs Soul. The first part of the post is here – I recommend you read that one first or else this might not make sense (you have been forewarned). 🙂
Quick summary: You are a spirit and you have a soul. Your spirit and your soul were each created with their own purpose. They are not the same. Learning to switch between them can change your experience of life dramatically – you can have much more peace, joy, love, patience, etc. There is a process in learning how to make the switch – it starts with learning the difference between the two. Most of us are clueless – I know I was! The process is:
a) Become aware of your spirit
b) Acknowledge your spirit’s place
c) Strengthen your spirit
d) Let your spirit lead
Last time we discussed the first two points, this time I will cover the last two. Here we go!
Strengthen your spirit
Strengthening your spirit involves learning what your spirit can do. It is an education for your soul in who you really are. Your soul may have heard many negative messages about who you are (i.e. you’re stupid, you’ll never succeed, etc.). As you learn who you are in your spirit – God’s DNA in you – you begin to see your own value, the value God put in you. You have a core value that no one can take away.
Think of all the negative things you have either heard or thought about yourself. Now write down some statements of the opposite of those things. For instance, if you tell yourself, “I’m dumb and I can’t remember things”. Then the opposite would be, “I am intelligent and I have a good memory”. Once you have a list of these, begin to say them to yourself out loud each day.
It feels like my soul is drinking in the words.
I like to look at the list while I am reading them (versus memorizing the list and recalling it from memory). First, I ask God’s Spirit to come and fill me and wash me. Then I read my list out loud to myself. I use the pronoun “I” instead of “you” because it helps me to “own” the statement of truth.
Below is an example of some of the things I have said to myself. I start with, “Spirit of Sandy, I call you to attention. You have been blessed with every spiritual blessing. These are some of the blessings you have:
- I am free and I give others their freedom.
- I am accepted and I belong.
- I am appreciated and acknowledged for my contributions to the world.
- What I say is important, valued and received with honor and respect.
- I am loved for who I am.
- I receive love and respect from other people.
- I have faithful, loving, close relationships. I am a blessing to others.
- I am compassionate and I am able to receive compassion from others.
- I am worthy. I am trustworthy. I am faithful.
- I trust God to order my steps and to take care of everything that concerns me.
- I have everything I need to fulfill my destiny.
- I rely on the Holy Spirit to show me things.
- I am confident and secure. I am FEARLESS!
- I am welcome to demonstrate who I am. The world is waiting for me with anticipation and joy.
You can borrow any of these statements that feels true to you or you can write your own. Write them without using negative statements. Instead of “I’m not dumb”, you would say, “I am intelligent” or something similar that is positive. Choose your words carefully because it makes a difference. You are learning to speak kindly to yourself and that’s very important.
Now I’m going to be honest – when I first started doing this, it was tough. I would read my list out loud and my soul would react and say things like, “Yeah, right!” with this sarcastic tone of unbelief. Saying things like “I am accepted and I belong” would cause my soul to immediately remind me of how rejected I felt the day before because of something a friend did to me. But I kept doing it – because I wanted to CHANGE the conversation in my head. My soul needed to acknowledge my spirit’s place and my spirit was not going to feel confident to step out if it was constantly listening to the negativity coming from my soul. This step really helps you to experience the difference between the two. At first, my spirit was quite weak. I simply read my list because I was desperate to change. I didn’t feel confident or strong or fearless. But I had a tiny bit of faith and a whole lot of determination to see things change. And they did!
I will also say that helping your soul heal from the wounds of rejection and fear is also a big part of becoming whole. I didn’t know how to do that when I started this process, but a few years later I did. The exercises in this book called Freedom through Forgiveness helped me tremendously. Healing the soul enables you to switch between your spirit and soul more easily.
Now for the last step ….
Let your spirit lead
The last step is to work with your spirit and your soul each day as the need arises. I would not try this step until you have done the previous steps for several weeks, maybe longer. You will begin to feel different inside as a result of those steps. Then you’ll be ready to move forward with this process.
Your soul is like a little child that needs protection from harmful influences. Your spirit was designed to do that. When your soul feels sad, lonely, fearful, rejected, etc., your spirit can give it what it needs in terms of encouragement, support, security, acceptance, etc. because of the presence of the Holy Spirit in your spirit.
Here’s an example. I have often felt anxious about facing new challenges. Whenever I notice that my soul is anxious, I say out loud, “I come out of agreement with anxiety and fear. I release peace and trust in the Lord into my soul.” This is my spirit ministering to my soul. It actually makes me feel better, usually within a few minutes. When I have felt sad or lonely, like no one understands my troubles, I will tell my soul, “It’s okay. You’re not alone. Jesus said He would never leave you or give up on you. Lord, open my soul up to receive Your love.” Then I will wait expectantly – soon I feel God’s love fill my soul. I soak it up by just being still and letting His love fill the sad, empty place in my soul. I’m tapping into my spirit where God’s Spirit is. Peace will come over me and I let it permeate my entire being, including my soul – the place that felt sad or lonely just a few minutes before now feels happy and full.
Once you’ve 1) become aware of your spirit, 2) acknowledge that it has a right to be expressed and 3) you’ve strengthened your spirit by embracing the truth, try letting your spirit lead. On a day when you have to face something you don’t really want to, ask your spirit to come to the front and ask your soul to go to the back and sit down. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you. Then walk into the uncomfortable situation. You will probably notice that you are functioning better than you expected. Most people are amazed at the results. They tell me that they went from being fearful to being confident in less than 30 seconds. This is because they had been strengthening their spirit and when they needed it, the strength was there.
Practice calling your spirit to lead whenever you feel weak or overwhelmed by life’s demands. This is what I usually say, “Spirit, I call you to attention – please come forward and lead. Soul, please go to the back and rest. Holy Spirit, I need your help – please guide me now.”
Try it out in different situations and see what happens. If you try it and you don’t see the results you were expecting, it may be that your spirit is not yet strong enough in that area. If you felt intimidated when you wanted to feel confident, maybe you need to concentrate on “I am secure and confident” for a few weeks and then go back and try it again.
There are many different ways to apply this concept. I may do some future posts on this because it seems to come up a lot. How will you use this new idea? Can you think of some scenarios where switching to your spirit would enable you to face some things you’ve avoided?
Here’s an example from one of my clients: She had an important business meeting coming up. She was meeting with an influential person and had to give a presentation on a new business idea. She was hoping to get this person’s feedback and ultimately their support (maybe even do some work together to start a new product line). She was very nervous – it was a big deal to her. She really wanted to see it succeed. She was afraid her anxiety would interfere with the meeting – the other person would pick up on that and it would likely cause them to hesitate to work with her. I taught her this principle of Spirit vs Soul and she worked for weeks on strengthening her spirit in being confident and secure. She also worked on some areas of inner healing regarding negative messages she had received in the past about herself. On the day of the meeting, she called her spirit to attention and walked into the room.
After the meeting, she called me. She was AMAZED at how smoothly everything went. She said she had such clarity and was able to communicate exactly what she wanted to say. The other person was impressed at how well she had thought through the new idea and immediately congratulated her. They also agreed to work with her and were happy to support her in launching the new product. She couldn’t believe how successful and confident she felt. It was a complete transformation from the way she used to be.
Now please keep in mind – this is not an overnight process. It takes TIME and EFFORT. But it is really, really worth it. Are you ready to try? Go to Part 1 of this post and start. It’s not that hard, but it does take persistence and practice until it becomes natural. Then you’ll have your own story of amazing breakthrough!
Any questions? Please feel free to contact me or comment below.
(My contact email is on the About Me page if you’d prefer to contact me privately.)
Jesus said, “Give Me back My stuff!” He looked annoyed.
I said, “Excuse me?” and took a step back.
“Give Me back My stuff!” He said again, with determination in His eyes.
I replied, “I don’t know what you mean, Lord.”
Jesus said, “Yes you do. Don’t mess around with me. Give Me back My stuff! I want it and I want it RIGHT NOW!”
“But Lord, everything I’ve got – You gave me,” I replied. I was starting to sweat.
He said, “Part of that is true, but you took some stuff that belongs to Me that I don’t want you to have. Give it back. NOW!”
At this point, I’m on my knees and I’m crying. I’m saying, “I don’t know what you mean, I don’t know what you mean.”
Jesus points at me and says, “That worry. That anger. That resentment. That bitterness. That fear. I died for it. I paid a price for it. It belongs to ME – it doesn’t belong to you. Give Me back My stuff!”
Suddenly I understood and I could see it. All those different things He died for, He took them to the cross and I’ve been resurrecting them. I was absolutely, utterly appalled. I started crying again and said, “I’m so sorry. You’re right, Lord. You’re right.”
Then He smiled at me, reached down and pulled me up. He kissed me on both cheeks and then He looked right into my eyes and said, “Have you any idea how utterly delighted I was to die for all those things? When I was on the cross, the joy that was set before me was that I KNEW I was robbing you of the ability to experience all that negativity. I was taking all those things away from you that you would NEVER have to experience them or encounter them ever again. I could give you a whole new life where those things would be absent and you could learn a different way of being. Do you have any idea how excited I was to be able to take all those things away from you? You’d never be fearful again, you’d never be anxious or worried or panicked. You’d never have to be angry or bitter or resentful. You’d never have to do any of that stuff. You could be FREE.”
He paused, then continued.
“Here you are, taking it all back like it belongs to you. It DOESN’T belong to you. I died for it. I paid a price for it. It’s Mine. You can’t have it because all the time you are taking hold of those things, you can’t see who you really are. When you focus on those things, there is a disconnect between you and heaven. I died so that you could stay connected. As long as you are holding onto that stuff, you can’t receive all that I want to give you.
“Give Me back that stuff. I’ve got things to give you. We can’t be messing around with this baby stuff anymore. We have things to do.”
We sat down and I wrote down all the stuff I had stolen back. Then I wrote down what was the opposite of that because that’s what I’m taking in exchange.
– Graham Cooke, paraphrased from this video:
So, are you ready to give to Jesus the stuff you took back from Him? 🙂
Or maybe, if this is your first time, you need to make a list of things to give Him and then turn them over. He paid for them with His death on the cross. Why are you holding on to it? Give Him back His stuff!!
Have you ever thought of the difference between introverts and extroverts when it comes to sharing the love of God with others?
Since many of my readers are introverts (introverts love to read blogs and make up 50% of the general population), I’d like to explore this topic with you.
What does it look like when an introvert shares God’s love with his neighbors?
It might look like stopping to pet a neighbor’s dog when you encounter them on the sidewalk outside your house. Asking how their day went and then asking good questions because you really are listening and you care.
It might look like patiently listening to a friend vent, without criticizing them for their feelings and thoughts. You are a “safe” person they can be open with.
It might look like giving money to a street beggar or a musician playing on the corner. You make eye contact, smile at them with compassion and drop something in their cup. You acknowledge their existence without saying a word. Maybe you nod along to the music to let them know you “hear” them.
It might look like talking to your waitress at the restaurant. Not just giving her your order, but also asking how her day is going and then really listening to the answer. Or when you get your hair cut, remembering what your hairstylist or barber told you last time about their family and asking about them.
Introverts are not likely to be found standing out in a crowd. They are not big and flashy like extroverts. They don’t “share the gospel” by passing out tracks, preaching or asking people to listen to them as they share the four spiritual laws. In fact, the very thought of imposing their opinion on someone else makes them feel sick.
I am an introvert (mostly). My passion is to love others by “hearing” them and “seeing” them for who they really are. To acknowledge them, just as they are, and to accept them as God would. To tell them, “You matter.” whether or not I use words to do this.
“Preach the Gospel at all times, and if necessary use words.” I’m guessing this originated from a Christian introvert. Words can be so empty and unfeeling. I have had many people “preach” at me with lots of words, but I didn’t feel God’s love from them or what they were saying.
The extroverts tend to have a lot of stories to tell of how God used them to talk to a stranger about His love. I like to hear those – I’m glad people are reaching out. But sometimes it can feel like that is the “standard” and if you don’t do it that way, you are somehow “missing it”.
So, this post is to expose this lie and acknowledge all my introvert readers and bloggers who make the world a better place – quietly, often silently, and yet their impact is deeply felt by those who are privileged to know them.
Thanks for listening. That’s what we introverts do best, isn’t it? 🙂
Have you ever contemplated the feminine side of God? I have often heard of the “Father heart of God”. There are many Bible verses that refer to God being a Father, especially the words of Jesus in the book of John. But not many direct references to God’s Mother heart. I’ve never heard anyone teach on this, have you?
But it is obviously part of God’s nature.
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Genesis 1:26-27 NKJV
We see the image of God reflected in both genders – male and female. So who is the Mother heart of God? What is the “Holy She” like?
There’s a lot of discussion on the “Divine Mother”. Some refer to Her by different names. I see Her most closely reflected in the description of the Holy Spirit. It was She who inspired Jesus to say,
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!” Matt 23:37 NKJV
A hen is a female chicken and gathering chicks is definitely a motherly thing to do.
In the Old Testament scriptures, the word for the Holy Spirit is Ruach. 90% of the times this word is used in scripture, it is used in the feminine form. Did the Old Testament writers have an intuitive sense of God’s Mother nature that we have somehow lost in modern times?
The most common symbol for the Holy Spirit is a dove. A dove is a feminine symbol. (I don’t know too many men who would choose the dove as the symbol of their masculinity!) A dove is gentle. King Solomon refered to his beloved in the Song of Solomon as a dove (SS 2:4). The Holy Spirit was seen descending on Jesus as a dove (Matt 3:16).
The Holy Spirit is described as a helper, a teacher, someone who guides us into all truth and one who comforts us. Those are all descriptions of the typical job of a mother with her young. She also teaches them right from wrong – as the Holy Spirit does when convicting the world of sin, righteousness and judgement (John 14 & 16).
I recently had an encounter with this Holy She. It blew my mind. I had never really thought about the Mother Heart of God. But SHE wanted me to know Her. And I am so glad She came to me and showed me Her heart for me.
It was very deep and very personal. It healed my heart in places I’d never been able to discover before. I knew something was missing. I knew my heart felt heavy. But I had no idea what was missing. I didn’t know I needed a revelation of the Mother Heart of God.
There were areas in my heart and soul where I had not received the gentleness and kindness that only a mother can give to a child. I did not realize how much this had affected my perspective of life. I was radically changed, permanently changed, after this encounter with Her. It was simply amazing. I don’t even know how to describe what it was like other than to say I encountered my Heavenly Mother and She loves me! ♥ She welcomed me to the family. 🙂
So I’m posting this in hopes that if anyone else has this experience and doesn’t know how to fit it into their spiritual understanding, perhaps my testimony will light their way. It is NOT sacrilegious to recognize God’s feminine side (though I’m sure there are male ministers who would be offended or befuddled by referring to God as She).
God is recognized as the Giver of Life. On the earth, that is the job of women – they are the ones who bring forth new life from their wombs.
The name God gave to Abraham when He first revealed Himself and told Abraham he would become a great nation is the name El Shaddai. There are various discussion as to the meaning of this name. One is this:
El – might, strength, power; it was the common term for “God” in that culture
Shad – breast, nourisher, sustainer
dai – enough, sufficient, supply
So it could be that when God revealed Him/Herself to Abraham, He/She said, “You will become a great nation (i.e. you will have a lot of children & grandchildren) and I will be the Powerful Breasted-One who will supply all your needs.” Kind of makes sense – the feminine side of God proclaiming a promise of many children and grandchildren and presenting the image of a breast that will nourish and sustain the children who are coming.
What do you think? Have you experienced this Holy She? I think many people long for a sympathetic Mother who will comfort them. Someone who will heal their hearts with Her Love and guide them in the way they should go. I know I certainly need that. Don’t you?
A. W. Tozer was a man who perceived God in the unseen realm. The words he used to express his relationship with God have often resonated with me. On some deep level, I “get” it. Here are some of my favorite lines from Tozer’s book, The Pursuit of God.
“To have found God and still to pursue Him is the soul’s paradox of love …”
“In God we shall find that for which we have all our lives been secretly longing.”
“God formed us for His pleasure, and so formed us that we, as well as He, can, in divine communion, enjoy the sweet and mysterious mingling of kindred personalities. He meant us to see Him and live with Him and draw our life from His smile.”
“A spiritual kingdom lies all about us, enclosing us, embracing us, altogether within reach of our inner selves, waiting for us to recognize it. God Himself is here waiting our response to His presence. This eternal world will come alive to us the moment we begin to reckon upon its reality.”
Doesn’t this resonate with you? Doesn’t something within tell you that there’s MORE than you are currently experiencing with your 5 senses? These words of Tozer have inspired me for years.
In the beginning of his book, it says this:
“Others before me have gone much farther into these holy mysteries than I have done, but if my fire is not large it is yet real, and there may be those who can light their candle at its flame.”
Thank you, A.W., for lighting my candle. I hope I can do the same for others. God is real – I love experiencing His presence and His nearness. Don’t you?
When I woke up this morning, I felt the presence of God in my room. It was a soft feeling – like a warm cloud of love and attention. I was alone in the room. I became aware of it even before I opened my eyes. It was almost as if it was this presence that awakened me. Like God wanted me to wake up so I could enjoy His presence and spend some time with Him.
How cool is that?! 🙂
Have you ever experienced that presence? Some people say they have experienced the “awe” of God when looking at the majesty of the mountains. Some have told me they feel the “peace” of God when walking deep in the forest with no other human beings nearby.
For some reason, it is easier to experience the presence of God when you are alone, I think. For me, I become more aware of it when I’m alone. If my husband had been in the room this morning, my attention might have been on him when I awakened. But since I was alone, the only thing I was aware of was this cloud of Love. It was sooo cool.
There was a time in my life when I really, really wanted to experience the presence of God. It seemed like such a struggle to tune everything else out and just feel His nearness. But then something changed in me a few years ago and now I feel His presence almost every day. It’s absolutely wonderful.
I remember one time I visited a very large historic church in Europe. The stillness inside this huge monument had a feeling to it – I’m not sure how to describe it. Kind of like a deep peacefulness. I sat down and soaked up this feeling for a few minutes. But that feeling does not compare with the close, personal feeling of God’s presence that I had when I woke up this morning.
I thought of this scripture verse, “When I awake, I am still with You.” Psalm 139:18
It is the culmination of a meditation about God’s Presence that starts with these words:
“Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.” (139:7-8)
So, if God’s Spirit is everywhere, then why do I notice it more at some times than at other times?
I think because He wants me to know He is there. And maybe first thing in the morning there is nothing competing for my attention – so it’s easier for me to notice His presence. At other times, I might feel it but in the busyness of life, I don’t always take the time to pay attention, slow down and acknowledge Him. I’d like to pay attention more because His presence is really wonderful, you know? 🙂
What do you think? When do YOU notice the presence of God?