Hearing Voices: How To Discern God’s Voice

I’ve been a faithful exerciser for more than 20 years. Almost without fail, I have gone to a gym, grabbed the dumbbells at home, hit the pool, gone for a run, taken a class or jumped rope—six days a week. As such, I know what it means to “listen to your body,” but that’s easier said than done.

Whether it’s at the track, in the gym or the privacy of my living room, a little voice often whispers in my ear: “Just an other 10 minutes, your back won’t hurt tomorrow—I’m sure of it.” Or, “Just tie your sneakers and go, forget that your heel has bugged you for weeks. Do you want the rest of the runners to think you’re a wimp?” One more, “Did you hear her say that she’s training for an Iron Man? You better up your game!”

In the world of workouts, I call that little voice “competition,” and he’s not always healthy. He’s gotten me injured and he’s gotten me irritated with others. He’s fed my pride and leveled my self-esteem. Listening to my body is so much harder than listening to the voice of competition.

At the risk of comparing my mortal body to the Holy Spirit, I wonder: is listening to my body isn’t similar to trying to listen to the Holy Spirit?

Finish reading this post at www.tblministries.com …

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2 and 3 Things that Made My Recovery from Anorexia Final

 

marketLast week I shared with you #3thingstomakerecoveryfinal ! Instead of simply saying, Jesus Christ, and then opening the floor for a barrage of questions, I’m letting you in on my answers to a dear friend recently. You can read the first part, here.

2. There are some people that I’ve had to ask to change the conversation. I don’t do this often. But, I have a number of family, friends and acquaintances who are INTENSE exercisers. And though they love me and know my history, some are a bit careless in their conversations and criticism of heavy people or relating the details their last ultra-marathon. It was really tough, but several times I’ve had to say, “Guys, I need to talk about something else”.

3. One thing that really began to change my feelings about food was an experience at the farmer’s market in Olympia, WA. I was alone, walking through the stalls and suddenly overcome by the sheer joy on everyone’s face! These people made their living thinking about food all the time 🙂

And they LOVED it! No one I saw was super skinny. There were people sampling cherries, roasting nuts, counting apples and potatoes. Herbs hung from tall beams, Homemade soaps and mysterious scents everywhere. It hit me for the first time how much of a GIFT food is! How much God wants us to enjoy it! How excited He must be when we harvest and taste and smile over the delicious variety of His creation. But these people were just enjoying it with simplicity–no long mental argument about what was good, bad or best for them to eat.

This has become my pursuit with food and exercise–I want to enjoy this life: Really enjoy it! And whatever comes of my body as I’m “living it up” down here in my good God’s creation, so be it. He is capable of caring for me.

We hear so much about “loving” our body, but I don’t find that anywhere in the Bible. We are called to use our body and care for our bodies. We are asked to touch, feed, nurture, carry, speak, sing, love, hold, birth, reason and worship with our bodies. None of those things require “loving” it–either from a selfish “I’ve got the best body” attitude or the attitude taught so often in treatment that we need to learn to “love our bodies” just as they are.

That’s just it–our bodies just are. They are for the purpose of serving and using and worshiping. And whatever becomes of my body as I’m doing those things, so be it.

And you know the best part about “whatever happens”? In the process of using my body to honor God and enjoy Him, I have EVERY confidence that He will care for the health of my body.

I hope this helps, lovely friend.

You Can See Jesus Better Because You’re Broken

Sandwiched between stories of resurrections, supernatural healings and a man who walked on water and turned water to wine is a little, not-so-miraculous story. But for those of us with deformities, handicaps, broken hearts, addictions and sundry shortcomings, the story of Zacchaeus has a more miraculous message than perhaps we give it credit for.Zacchaeus was a wee little man; you remember the Sunday school song. A man despised by his Hebrew community for his greedy allegiance to the Romans as a tax collector. One afternoon, Jesus came into his town. As always, Jesus was surrounded by a mob of the curious, suspicious and incredulous. Perhaps simply out of his own curiosity, Zacchaeus longed to see Jesus, too. But his measly stature afforded him only the view of other men’s backsides.So Zacchaeus lay aside his pride and climbed a sycamore tree that extended its branches over the path Jesus was traveling. There, he beheld Jesus from a distance. Zacchaeus’s disadvantage became the very thing that drove him up a tree to seek Jesus. His weakness compelled him to go to great lengths to see the man some had begun to call Messiah.But Zacchaeus could only see Jesus from a distance. Branches loomed and swayed through his vision and he had a hard time keeping track of Jesus for the crowd. Suddenly, Jesus looked up and caught sight of the tiny man in a tree and called out, “Zacchaeus, come down! For today I must stay at your house.”

Zacchaeus carefully descended the tree, the crowd parted and before he knew it, he found himself close enough to touch the miracle man.

Do you sometimes believe that your shortcomings, addictions, sins, failures, handicaps and deformities keep you from seeing, let alone being seen by God? Like Zacchaeus’s height, they have that potential. But also like Zacchaeus’s height, the awareness of your brokenness can drive you to seek Jesus. The beauty of the story is that God did not settle for giving Zacchaeus a glimpse of his Savior, but turned His sovereign eyes upon this little man and called him to Himself.

Lest you think that it was mere accident that Zacchaeus was short and that he took it upon himself to seek Jesus, remember that Jesus is also the Creator. He was the one who selected Zacchaeus’s exact measurements and planned to use them for His glory and Zacchaeus’s salvation.

Do not despise your weaknesses. Do not resign yourself to a distant view of your Savior. But let your brokenness be the catalyst that drives you to great lengths and tremendous heights to find Him. The Bible says that when we seek Him, we will find Him, and that He is not far from any of us. So gather all your infirmities and scramble up the nearest tree. He will call you to Himself and come in and stay with you.

References for additional study: John 14:23, Luke 19, Jeremiah 29:13