Upon waking this morning I felt cold and closed-off toward my usual practice of thanksgiving and prayer. Instead of joy and ambition to commune with God, I felt distant from God and hesitant about how to yield my mind. Frankly, I didn’t feel like God was awaiting me with open arms and honestly, I felt shunned. Have you ever felt this way?
Sometimes our minds can play tricks on us and cause us to imagine concepts that make us feel things that are simply not true. I believe this is what was happening in my mind early this morning and I desperately desired to change how I felt. I didn’t want to stay closed. So, I offered a short, quiet prayer asking the Holy Spirit to help me open my heart, and then I turned to the written Word…the Holy Scriptures. I started with two beautiful prayers in Ephesians 1 and 3, and allowed the alchemy of Spirit-inspired words spoken with my voice to work in my heart and woo me to open myself to God.
As I read and prayed my eyes were drawn to the following passages that absolutely transformed the way I was feeling and freed me to open my heart to communion with God:
“Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.” Ephesians 2:19, 21-22 NKJV.
“For it pleased the Father that in [Christ] all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross. And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind (italics mine) by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight.” Colossians 1:19-22
After reading these passages it was very clear to me that how I felt was actually contrary to the truth. You see, THIS is the truth about who we are and how God relates to us and my feelings upon waking were not accurate. The truth is, we are not shunned by God but we have been reconciled to God. The truth is, we are not distant from God but we have been brought near to Him. The truth is, we are not enemies or strangers to God but we are citizens and members of His household.
Notice that Colossians reads that we were “alienated and enemies in our minds…” Isn’t that powerful? That the feeling of being alienated from God comes from the mind, and once we are reminded of the truth that we are not alienated from God, the mind can change. And let’s go one step truer, we are actually the dwelling place of God in the Spirit and we can’t get much closer to God than that!
Needless to say my feelings changed, my morning practice was invigorated and I was relieved to receive the truth of these beautiful words in to my heart along with brand new feelings toward God. Join me?
Meditation for Mind Renewal: I am not an enemy, a stranger or a foreigner to God. I am a friend, a citizen and a member of God’s household in Christ. I am a friend of God. I am a child of God and I am without blame in His sight. I am the dwelling place of God in the Spirit. God is not mad at me, nor is God shunning me. I am at peace with God and my mind is being renewed to this transformative truth even now. Thank you Holy Spirit for opening my heart and showing me how close I really am. Amen.