Denying Self Means Living By God’s Spirit

It’s my first post of the New Year and its 4:00 a.m. This minute begins my week long experiment with self. By self, I mean that part of me that gets in the way of divine and spiritual inspiration and holds me captive to my old ways and patterns. It is self that tells me to “do it later” or that I have to do A, B, and C before I can do D when D is beckoning me at that very moment. It is self that stands in the way of me being the person I hope to be: successful, healthy, joyful, and whole.  As I see it, there are just some relationships not worth having. Relationships that bring you down, hold you back, and create emotional toxicity. In the past, I have been quick to let loose of these types of love-hate encounters. But my long relationship with self which has proven to be just as toxic at times, still lingers on, despite its obvious maladies.


It was self that told me to stay in bed at 4 a.m. and go back to sleep, you can write this post later. But as I lay there having a conversation with my “self” I realized that if I continued to listen it is debilitating voice, in several hours there would be no post and I would be wrapped up in whatever new predicament that would present it “self” at a later time.

So where is this all coming from anyway? After spending 7 wonderful days in Costa Rica doing everything from meditating, laying on the beach, swimming in the ocean, eating wonderful food, and basking in the sun I came home to the cold and drab skies of California. You may be thinking California; it’s always warm and sunny there, well maybe in San Diego, but not in Sacramento.  At first I began to think that the weather and my return to reality was creating my heavy heart, but that was only obvious reasoning. After further introspection, contemplation, quiet asking, and then intent listening, I discovered it had nothing to do with what was going on outside of me…and everything to do with what was going on inside of me.

 

Papagayo, Costa Rica
Papagayo, Costa Rica

This year, 2010 is going to be a great year for me. I know it with every fiber of my being. This is the year that I have been telling people close to me that I am reinventing myself. I am transforming my “self” into the person I want to be, that person just trying to get out.

In practical terms, this year I plan to “Eat Food, Mostly Plants, and Not to Much” (great book), I plan to write new Christian Meditations and grow this ministry, I plan to get to and maintain my ideal weight of 112 pounds which includes changing old habits with food and fitness, I plan on growing spiritually and becoming closer to God, I plan on planting my own garden, buying my produce from the weekly farmers market, going 80% organic, and building closer relationships with my family and friends, to name a few. 

And how do I plan to accomplish all of these new endeavors and enterprises? The old me, the logical me, or my old self would tell me, you need structure, you need charts, you need to put systems in place, and you need to create an action plan to guide you into making these changes. But I’ve learned from past experience that many of these systems create more frustration than accomplishment. They’re too hard to live up too much less create. And then what transpires is a gap, a gap between who I want to be and want to accomplish and who I really am.  And as the gap becomes wider so does my disappointment and disillusion.

But I realized something this morning as I tried to discover what was ailing my heart and disturbing my mind. My problem was not a lack of enthusiasm, know how, or systems, but a relationship that I was ready to outgrow and move beyond, a relationship with my “self.” But if I am ready to loose my attachment to self, that basic part of who I have been for so long with all its habits, fears, and mindsets, who or what will take its place?

And then it hit me, “Those who walk in the spirit will not fulfill the lust of the flesh (self).” But don’t let the word “lust” fool you, because walking in self encompasses so much more than those classified “big sins.”  Walking in self nullifies, deludes, and excludes all that we can receive from the spirit: love, joy, peace, and fulfillment. 1 Cor. 2 tells us that “the Spirit knows all things, even the deep things of God.”  Hence, if the Spirit is the highest supreme of knowing, then it behooves us not only to get in tune with this knowing but to follow it as closely and precisely as possible. This knowing comes in the form of our inner wisdom, the Holy Spirit, who came to teach us all things.

So in my quest to reinvent myself this year, I have made a crucial yet conscious decision to make these changes not by intellect or logic but through being lead by the Spirit, meaning if the Spirit tells me to get up at 4 a.m. and write a blog, I will.  Instead of relying on action plans or putting various systems in place, my number one goal this year will be to create an environment in my heart, my home, and my mind that cultivates a greater space for God in every area of my life. It also requires that in the wake of every decision that I will follow that inner knowing first, the spirit of truth. In St. Luke,  Jesus’ mother tells the servants, “what ever He (Jesus) tells you to do, do it.” In this case it was a simple command of filling the wine barrels with water, but what a tremendous blessing resulted.  I am expecting the same.

This week, I want to challenge you as well as myself.  For the next 7 days, whatever He (Jesus) tells you to do, just do it. Don’t reason it away or make any excuses, and don’t put it off later. Right then, right there, just do it. Move past your fear, anxiety, and uncomfortably. And if you’re questioning whether or not you hear the Spirit, begin by spending time in silence, meditation, and silent reflection to create a space for God to enter your inner and outer environment.

It is the simple things of God that confound the wisdom of man and it is in these simple directives that many miracles are birthed.

In seven days, please come back to this post and share your experiences and insights.

7 thoughts on “Denying Self Means Living By God’s Spirit

  1. ROLAND GUNESEKERE says:

    Shalom Rhonda,
    Thanks for the spiritual inspiration, I am encouraged by your sharing of your content, yes we got to make that effort to give HIM the first place and I am trying to do the same as well and will share my experience. I live in Colombo, Sri Lanka which is many continents away from CA,so continue to share your experiences and my life story is somewhat to yours.
    Blessings,
    Roland

  2. Rhonda – this was a beautiful, deep and insightful post! I can relate 100% – it is the cry of my heart and so many of the things you are planning for 2010 are on my list as well. Drawing closer to God and allowing His sweet Spirit to have “the upper hand” so to speak, rather than my old damaged and ineffective habits and ways is #1!

    Thank you for sharing this and being obedient to the Spirit this morning. I will listen closely these next 7 days and whatever my wonderful Jesus tells me to do – I will do it.

  3. Gavin Gowans, Life Coach says:

    I think you are 100% right. Live in the present moment, do what inspires and motivates you, let go and let God, be the person you were born to be, the person you already are , the love of Christ Consciousness in this world. Be love and walk in light, love and Truth.

    You are enough, you are worthy and you are whole complete and perfect. You are always were, you are now and always will be.

    So you are right to put your plans aside and live in the freedom that is already yours. Walk in the power of now.

    Because “In me, you live and move and have your being.”
    (Acts 17:28)
    It is my desire to lavish my love on you simply because
    you are my child and I am your father.
    (1 John 3:1)
    I offer you more than your earthly father ever could.
    (Matthew 7:11)
    for I am the perfect Father.
    (Matthew 5:48)
    Every good gift that you receive comes from my hand.
    (James 1:17)
    for I am your provider and I meet all your needs.
    (Matthew 6:31 33)
    My plan for your future has always been filled with hope.
    (Jeremiah 29:11)
    because I love you with an everlasting love.
    (Jeremiah 31:3)
    My thoughts toward you are countless as the sand on the seashore.
    (Psalms 139:17 18)
    and I rejoice over you with singing.
    (Zephaniah 3:17)
    I will never stop doing good to you.
    (Jeremiah 32:40)
    for you are my treasure.
    (Exodus 19:5)
    I desire to establish you with all my heart and all my soul.
    (Jeremiah 32:41)
    and I want to show you great and marvelous things.
    (Jeremiah 33:3)
    If you seek me with all your heart, you will find me.
    (Deuteronomy 4:29)
    Delight in me and I will give you the desires of your heart.
    (Psalm 37:4)
    for it is I who gave you those desires.
    (Philippians 2:13)
    I am able to do more for you than you could possibly imagine.
    (Ephesians 3:20)

    Love and Peace.

    xxx

  4. Marge Wisniewski says:

    I have been cultivating a closer relationship with God as my New Year’s resolution. I struggle with anxiety and depression and have for all of my adult life but slowly He is teaching me to trust that with Him, I have nothing to be anxious about but I can have joy and peace if I listen to Him and ignor the negativity that I have allowed to “run” my brain. It’s not easy, de-programming never is, but He is leading me out.

  5. Blaine Wood says:

    Thank you for that blog. It is interesting that is the very attitude I have embarked on. Not to discover self but to release self to the pwoer of the Holly Spirit. My prayer is Lord fill me with you spirit. To be filled with the spirit is to be lead by the spirit. Like the Good shepard in John 10. To be filled is… very simple. Just ask. The basis of that is God’s promise and command. His command is EPH 5:18. The promise is 1 John 5:15-16. The prayer must be daily. Dieing to self as in Romans 8. The battle rages to be sure. But Jesus has overcome. Praise the LORD.

  6. Rosa Moore-Jordan, Evangelist-Teacher says:

    As usual, your post is interesting. This year for me is not really that much different from the last should the Lord delay His coming. It was imprinted upon me to send fruit to many loved ones as gifts for the first time. Afterwards, a need to honestly covet the fruit of the Holy Spirit began to welt up inside. Temperance and Kindness really tops the list especially after noting a weight gain of 4lbs in one month with no medical reasoning. In the past, my temperament was too yielded to circumstances and other people. Joy almost completely escaped me. No more. I have even written an article on “KINDNESS ” recently. Just this morning the Spirit of the Lord spoke to me as I was beginning to let my mind wander to an unpleasant thought by saying: “Thank God that you have been delivered from that, and don’t try to re-live it.”

  7. Paul Blundin says:

    Thank you giving a name to all the junk that interferes with my efforts to be with Christ.

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