For a long time, I didn’t know what to do with passages like John 14:27 (let not your heart be troubled) and Hebrews 12:1,2 (fixing your eyes upon Jesus). I sensed that they were true but I wasn’t experiencing them and I didn’t know what to do.
Then, starting with Graham’s teaching from Mind of a Saint, I heard about being dead to sin and about having God’s perspectives, thoughts and language. I also learned about giving my negativity to God and asking what He wants give me of Himself.
Over time, I could embrace God revealing that I actually needed unpleasant situations, even though they resulted in me feeling defensive and insecure and like I had to explain myself. I really could stop trying to change or withdraw from the person or situation. I could sincerely thank Him for them and look to Him because there was always something He wanted to be for me.
Very recently, after calming and reassuring me, He showed me that when my “buttons get pushed,” negativity in me is being forced out of hiding. God allows it, or probably even sets it up, so I can hand over the negativity in me and receive His nature and become more aligned with how He sees me in Jesus. I can’t stop being negative or become positive, but I can focus on Jesus. In this case, I became overwhelmed by His love and amazingly joyful peace. And of course, words and actions followed.
Now I know I can be grateful for a person who pushes my buttons! I have a new understanding of how useful a Grace Grower can be.
In this passage in Qualities of a Spiritual Warrior, I see God’s answer to “how can this be?”:
“I cannot take the truth and apply it to myself. This is self-help. Which self is applying the truth? Instead, Jesus lives that truth in me. I surrender to His life and He becomes the Living Word in my spirit and soul. I am wonderfully impacted by His presence spiritually, emotionally, physically and mentally. My whole person is affected by His whole person. Too many Christians only give mental assent to truth. Cerebral acceptance is not an experience. The joy of the Lord is a relational encounter with His exuberant happiness. We live under his smile and our hearts are light.” (p.138)
Warrior Commission Member