Friday, August 22, 2014

I Hear Voices

Once we start "eating" the right words - the spoken words of God from sources that line up with the written words of God - we have to be able to apply them.  This requires constant devotion to humility.

Humility is admitting that we are incapable of doing it on our own.  Humility is not downplaying your accomplishments, but acknowledging that your talents are God-given and that some of your success is based on favor with people or teaching from people.

We've all heard the old adage that actions speak louder than words. This is basically true. But the more you watch and listen to people, the more you will understand why people act the way they do.  Behavior is a reflection of belief.  I like the phrase I first heard a couple of years ago: "When you know better, you do better" (This quote may be attributed to Oprah).  It follows then that when we consistently, habitually don't do the right thing, it is because we don't know how.

Behaviors are easy to change; beliefs are next to impossible.  So what do we do?

After we acclimate to the understanding that we cannot change the beliefs of our friends and family members, much less strangers, then:   
  • We have to spend enough time with ourselves to understand our flaws (the big ones and the small ones).  
  • We have to know God well enough to hear Him tell us how to fix them.  
I just re-learned this lesson.  People we love sometimes have struggles we could help them with.  But their behavior is most likely an effect of their belief and only God can change their beliefs. Let's turn that back on ourselves.  None of us are perfect; we all have flaws we have kept well hidden, consciously or unconsciously. No one can change those little idiosyncrasies and attitudes because they are deeply rooted in our beliefs about ourselves and the world around us.

If you've ever struggled with the idea of knowing God, let me give you two tips.

1. If you are at the beginning of your spiritual journey or you're still deciding if Christianity is for you, know this: prayer is not a monologue; it's a dialogue.  A dialogue requires two people talking and two people listening. When you pray (about all things great and small - your car not breaking down, your day running smoothly, your boyfriend forgetting his fears of commitment and taking you ring shopping, your mother's cancer), also listen to what God is saying back.  God is saying something back.

2. If you are past the beginning stages, you've been reading the Bible and going to church and you talk to God on a regular basis, but you're still not sure how to hear directly from God, know this: "God exists within you as you" (Elizabeth Gilbert) and the devil exists outside of you posing as you. There's a reason the visual representations of the Holy Spirit (your conscience) and the devil are small figures that look just like you whispering in your ear the right and wrong things to do.

One of the devil's most effective tricks is to speak negativity to you and deceive you into thinking the negative thoughts originated with you. The devil wants you to think your mind has an abundance of evil in it that you cannot escape.  But he is the liar, the deceiver, the accuser.  

God created you. When you were born, you had more God in you than you had of yourself and your parents.  In fact, the eternal part of you is simply a piece of God.  So when you align yourself with God's teachings, He removes the negativity that was invading your system and what is left is the God in you that was always there.  When you listen for God's voice during your prayer dialogue, listen for what sounds like your own thoughts or your own voice but lines up with God's words. 

This is why the yogis say, "I honor the Divinity that resides within me."


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