We need to : be mindful; see with God’s eyes; feel as He does; yield our members; cast it all on the Lord; grab the next piece of life; repeat till time for sleep; let it all go and sleep well; get up and repeat till we see Christ.
To that extent that we don’t come at life this way we:
- Miss opportunities, miss out on God’s power, find ourselves CIRCLING on the details of the past or reviewing all the possible problems of the future.
- Like Peter, we focus on the “lower realities” and take our eyes off the Lord and start to sink. Yes there were waves and wind and he did know friends who had drowned in similar storms–“but so what?” We see only the negatives of what we have or haven’t done or what others have or haven’t done. We may even “see” what isn’t, so are overwhelmed.We put our own hate of self higher than God’s love of us, we “remember” all our failures and blow them up bigger than God’s grace. Or, if we are bitter, we blow the others’ misdeeds out of proportion and minimize our problem. Then our plans and responses will not work because they are to vague or just don’t fit reality. God can’t forgive and cleanse and fix our watered down or blown out of proportion view of things.
- Instead of blessed passion and drive, our feelings are either squashed out and our lives lack energy and we do not see opportunities or our sin OR we lump all our feeling together and just feel “terrible” or angry or depressed. That would be like stepping on a nail and having a vague ache all over or a tooth ache. This would feel miserable and give us excuse to moan and groan but would not help us identify the nail in the foot and have it removed and the damage fixed. So we go on damaging ourselves and others and feeling hurt and bitter, confused as to why things go so badly. It is also sad that, if we squash out our uncomfortable feelings or wallow in the misery, we also squash out love, joy, peace, contentment, etc.
- We may become hyper-logical and are always quoting the original Hebrew yet avoiding obedience to the simple obvious truth, or thinking that when we think through what is happening and what one should do, it is the same as actually doing something. We may fill our brains with ways that seem right–yet the end is death. We may use our logic to put others down and be sarcastic and demeaning. We may refuse to think and depend on pastors and others to do all our thinking which leads to cultism or just to not being able to think under stress. (God loves Bereans who listen and go to the Word and think for themselves.)
- We may refuse to DO THE LITTLE WE CAN because it would make no difference. (Nothing you or I will ever do will be sufficient to fix anything but it is the place God jumps in and makes it work, thus preserving His sovereignty and our free will) We may do everything ourselves without asking for help and thus burn out. We may do things without checking God’s word.
- We may continue to fuss and go round and round on the problem after we have done our part and feel that fussing is doing, that fussing will fix something or find a solution.
The resulting conditions?: BURN OUT, NUMB OUT, WEAR OUT
Burn out comes from spending our Serotonin, Nor-epinephrine and Dopamine faster than we can replace it. If you buy a car and decide that water looks a lot like gasoline and is a lot cheaper, so you fill the tank with water; don’t call up the designer and complain it won’t run on water. You are designed to have enough Serotonin Norepi and Dopamine to handle today’s evil if you sleep peacefully, eat well, exercise and handle situations with help from God and others, and casting all your burdens on Christ. Consequence? You will be too anxious, tearful, despairing, irritable, withdrawn, overwhelmed etc (serotonin calms passion) and you will not be able to turn off the feeling when you realize that it is excessive. You will not be able to concentrate, organize, plan, gather resources and in general to think. You will not feel like doing things and will make yourself but find no joy or satisfaction, all will be pointless and boring and you will dread the thought of doing the same over and over and over.
Numb out comes from the constant dumping out of Glutamate which is supposed to alert the cortex. Instead the cortex gets tired of the constant alerts and stops listening So we begin to shut out the world around us and go into fantasy worlds or just focus on our own misery.
Wear out comes from constant dumping of adrenaline and cortisol into the blood and results in practically every illness known to man. When God promised to keep the Israelis well, that was a conditional promise based on them resting in Him. Deuteronomy 7:15
The resulting attitudes: bitterness, greed, lust, pessimism, distrust etc.
So how do we cooperate with the Holy Spirit to move from our ways to His ways? tune in next time for a couple ideas.