On New Year’s Eve I was blessed to be at Virginia Beach with my family. Last year Elevation Church did an online praise party and I planned to watch, but being at the beach, some really loud neighbors, and getting talking to Mary, I became too distracted to fully listen to the sermon. Thankfully, they record them and I could enjoy once I got home. Mary had chosen the word FLOW for 2015, and the sermon from Elevation was “Find Your Flow” – Mary even said that’s a sign because she enjoys listening to Steve Furtick as well.
So, since I have been home, I have listened to this sermon about 10 times and every time I am convicted in a new way. He preached on Genesis 26:12-18 and how the wells were filled with dirt and used it as an analogy of my life and what block my flow from God? How I allow things to block the flow between me and Christ. In verse 17 he talked about how they settled in a valley but how sometimes I grow in Christ when I am in a valley / low place. Because when I am low, I tend to look up! In verse 18 scripture talks of re-opening the wells to allow the flow. Proverbs 4:23 talks how my heart is the well SPRING of life and how it needs to be guarded. But if I allow negativity, sin, complaining, complacency, regrets constantly bombard my thoughts and life, they are stopping my well – my flow between me and God. (if interested the sermon is at this link: http://elevationchurch.org/sermons/find-your-flow)
I think it hit me the hardest when he started giving examples of things that I fill my “wellspring” with – the dirt / the things – that block my flow
Complaining: Monday was a perfect example, the weather was COLD, there were internet connections causing major delays in me getting my work done, Jim wasn’t feeling well, we had to start back to school, I had an interrupted night’s sleep, I didn’t get up as early as I wanted, and the list could continue. When I start a day like that – it truly stops any positive flow between me and God (and positive flow between me and everyone I come in contact with honestly). Instead, my focus should be how BLESSED I am to be able to work from home, I am able to have the kids school from home, I got some sleep in my bed (versus a hospital bed), I got some extra rest by sleeping in a little later. Once, I focus that direction, my heart is less heavy, my stomach less knotted, and my hands unclenched. I generally really focus on blessings / gratitude, but it is so easy to let one thought destroy a moment, a day, a week, etc..
Regrets: Ouch! So, it is New Years and well… last year I did not… lose the weight, read the Bible, work on my prayer life, fulfill my goal for encouragement, unclutter the house, control my spending, write enough blogs, and I didn’t OVERCOME (my 2014 word) everything I had planned. HOWEVER, the past is truly the past and I can’t change any of those things. I can stay in the past, or make progress toward the future. S. Furtick mentions how some regrets are many years’ worth of “dirt” filling our wells. I can tell you that losing weight has probably always been on my New Years list. The beautiful thing is by choosing a word, I don’t focus so much on the list. The regrets, for me, are an attitude issue as well. I can focus on what I haven’t done or what I did accomplish. Sometimes I can accomplish big things, and sometimes I over estimate and have to take it in smaller “digs” to remove the dirt that stands in the way between me and God. I just have to ACT today to change the regrets, which isn’t easy, but in small shovel amounts, it is possible.
Complacency (another OUCH area): I call them my Eeyore moments. Where I excuse my responsibility by saying that is just how I am. Or don’t do anything to change because it is easier to stay just the way I am. I also am great about making a list of excuses why they stay the same (I don’t have enough time to exercise or read the Bible, etc…) S. Furtick says how sometimes it is easier to dig a new well, but we really should be cleaning out the ones we already have (like broken relationships – instead of fixing the ones we have we make a new friend; like broken marriages – instead of fixing the one we have we get a divorce and a new spouse; like financial issues – instead of paying off what we already owe we get a new charge card). I have been known to build new wells – my generally in the sense of taking on one more commitment. The bad thing is some of my wells (spiritual life well, self care well, friendship/family well, finances well, etc..) could use some clearing! I may have just a few shovel of dirt/ things in them getting in the way of the flow, but wouldn’t it be easier to remove a few shovels of dirt than a truck load full of issues. Some things have gone years without tending, and they are honestly major stressors for me (they would be on my “it drives me crazy list”). The stress of not taking care of them has / does / can get in the way of my relationship with God (and others).
- Furtick said something that really hit me as a nurse – if I don’t fix my heart issues, my flow between God and me, I will be living this year in a state of Spiritual Cardiac Arrest. As a nurse cardiac arrest leads to death, and I do not want a spiritual death because of everything I have allowed to block my flow. So, what’s this girl to do?!?!? ACT by FINDING MY FLOW – I have to get busy digging. It may be something like an
- Saying no to new wells
- Taking care of me (now that is a really buried well – just saying!)
- Creating a plan for neglected wells
- Pick an accountability partner
- Focusing on relationships
- Rediscovering some of my passions
- Reprioritizing my wells
- Eliminating unnecessary for important (how I spend my time)
- ACT by FINDING my FLOW!
- (NIV) Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
- (NLT) Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.
- (ESV): Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.
- (NAS): Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life.
- (NIV) For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
- (NLT) Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.
- (ESV) For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
- (KJV) For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.