How’s your soul?
Last week I spent in L.A. enjoying the sunshine, the decaf coffee (I’m on a fast, prayers please, haha), and God’s perfect precious word. On Wednesday night Jen and I went to Judah, led by City Church pastor, Judah Smith. Judah preached on what how confusing and time consuming it can be figuring out what is healthy for us, on the outside; have we ever considered how confusing it can be to know we are healthy on the inside? Spiritually? What does that look like? He went through some key things from Genesis that really spell out how it looks like being healthy on the inside.
4 Key elements:
Rest/Enjoyment (Genesis 1:8)
Responsibility (Genesis 1:15)
The Unnecessary No (Genesis 1:16)
Community (Genesis 1:18)
I really wanted to focus on the unnecessary no, because speaking from first hand experience this one really shook my life, and cleaned up my spirit real quick.
Genesis 1: 16, “God commanded the Man, "You can eat from any tree in the garden, except from the Tree-of-Knowledge-of-Good-and-Evil. Don't eat from it. The moment you eat from that tree, you're dead."
Out of all the trees, who knows how many, God gave us freewill, to chose, every day Adam walks by all the trees, and everyday he walks by The-Tree-Of-Good-and-Evil and he has to look at it and say no.
There is something so beautiful in the free will God gave us to say no. No to important things.
No to unimportant things.
Having healthy boundaries is so good for your mental and spiritual health. If you’re anything like me you have to really practice saying no. Seriously, sometimes I look in the mirror and practice saying no, just so it comes out more naturally when it’s actually time to spew the phrase. Just kidding, I don’t spew. But “No” is such a foreign word to me. I am a people pleaser to the max, being accommodating, helpful, and always saying YES, is the essence of my existence. Okay, I'm exaggerating, but you get what I mean. Saying no isn’t how I roll. Until one day a lovely flight attendant sat down next to me on the jumpseat and without prompting turned to me and said,
“You’re always taking care of everyone else. It’s like God gave you a car full of gas and you drain the gas on everyone else and then ask God, “Where to?” It gets you nowhere.”
With tears streaming down my face I knew what she meant. How can I possibly take care of others if I can’t even take care of myself. How can I say no to others if I can’t say no to myself.
Mind you this flight attendant spoke these beautiful God filled words over me in August and it wasn’t until October I finally put it in practice.
I decided to say No to something that was a big strong hold on my life.
Do I think Instagram is awful, or evil, or the devil’s spawn? Absolutely not.
I just kept asking myself, why?
Why do I have Instagram? Because it’s just a thing to do?
Do I feel healthy on Instagram? Uh, yeah, I guess?
Does Instagram bring any meaning to my life?
You know what’s funny? You are the master manipulator of yourself. Do you know how easy it is to justify the most ridiculous reason to stay on something you know deep down you really don’t need to? That was Instagram for me.
So I decided, no.
Was it necessary? No.
Was it cathartic? ABSOLUTELY.
Holy moly, y’all I can put into words (actually I can, that’s why this is a blog) how transformative it was for me.
I dragged the little bible app where Instagram used to be on my home bar so any time my muscle memory thumb wanted to peruse through Instagram- guess what, I’d be reading the good word. And yes I did, in 3 months I read all of the new testament in 2 different versions and then decided to learn who God was in the old testament. Reading about Jonah, Ruth, Cain and Abel, Saul, Jonathan, David, Solomon, and so many more.
Want to hear the best part? One unnecessary no led to so many more!
I finally started saying no to certain foods that made me not feel my best. Gluten, and dairy primarily.
I started saying no to laying in bed everyday all day and started going for runs which then led to working out more.
I started saying no to Netflix to get a proper amount of sleep at night.
I started saying no to small, unnecessary things.
Did I have to cut out food that made me feel bad? No. No one was making me. But why would I feed my body fuel that was hurting it?
Did I have to say no to sleeping in? No, I work really hard and on my days off I want to sleep, but I realized too much sleep isn’t good for me. Get up be active. Treat your body like a temple, because it is, and keep it healthy!
Did I have to say no to Netflix before bed? Haha, no. But I did! And I started going to bed at a decent time every night. Letting my brain shut down to get a good nights sleep.
Through all these unnecessary no’s, I don’t even recognize the girl I was in October. Physically, I’ve lost 30 pounds. Mentally, I have a new found strength, and Spiritually, I’m so deeply rooted and immersed in God's word I view everything different. The veil has been lifted. The truth has not been withheld. The peace surpasses all understanding. The wisdom is set on flood gate mode.
And the best part of all is the affirmation. Wednesday night wasn’t an accident. God had me right where he wanted me. Listening to the good word. Reminding me of how far we’ve come, him and I together.
So you remember those 4 key elements?
I believe they all work hand in hand with one another. I believe if you do one the ripple effect will be them all. Through my one, silly, unnecessary no, it rippled to many, and those many decision led to a healthy soul. I now rest, and enjoy. I understand the hard work, and I do it. I’m more intentional with my time. MY car is well taken care of. Now I’m not draining the gas on everyone and everything. I’m cleaning out the vents. Unclogging the hoses. Filling myself with premium oil. I’m running on the kingdom’s gas. And I’m ready for when someone jumps in the car with me and we excitingly ask, “Where to God!?”
How’s your soul? Really...
If you would like to here the sermon yourself click HERE