Ever face interactions or circumstances that “rattle your cage”? In this episode I share a question my wife wisely highlighted recently when I expressed a bump in my own emotional road, and 3 daily disciplines I am exercising to grow and break out from the limits my thinking and emotions place on me.
Today, I want to talk about something that I’m sure most of us experience at times. Last night I was just talking with Larna about something that I don’t know if this saying is a universal saying or way to describe. A certain way of feeling, but my cage was rattled by something I don’t know if you’ve heard the saying, I really just felt kind of emotional at my emotional equilibrium, a little bit upset by a particular situation that I faced. Not nothing, nothing important necessarily, or kind of particularly deep or upsetting in some ways.
But I could feel kind of that sense of peace and well-being had been rattled a little bit. And I was sharing with Larna just concerning this thing, because I found that sometimes it’s difficult to in those moments where we feel rattled emotionally, sometimes it’s difficult to know whether our response or our reaction is kind of an honest one or whether it’s just touched on something deeper on the inside of her. And like Larna bless her heart. And she’s just we’ve been married for over 21 years now, so she knows me well.
And, you know, we’ve learnt to be honest with one another, which is a good thing. I guess, you know, maybe it’s not something that we need to learn, but I’m I’m finding that kind of really even knowing who we are and knowing when we when we are being honest is actually a key thing, because sometimes we don’t see our own blind spots and we need people around us who will help us recognise our own blind spots. It’s like, what if we’re driving in a car and you look in the mirror?
You know, sometimes there can be a blind spot and you’ve got to be careful of those things. And we can be like that in life as well. Sometimes the emotional reactions that we have to think to things puts us in a place where we we no longer see things as they really are. And so having people around us that we know that we can be honest and real with is such a key thing. Now, that may be kind of your spouse or a partner or it may be a good friend, but surrounding yourself with people that, you know, you can be kind of very forthright with and he won’t kind of shut you down or judge you, but will at the same time be willing to challenge you on certain things I think is really important.
And so I share this with her and she said and I said, you know, my cage is really rattled and she and she, in a wonderfully loving way, said, why are you in the cage in the first place? Maybe. Maybe the Holy Ghost is letting the kind of the cage be rattled so you can recognise that the door has been opened and you are you can step out. And I think sometimes like these situations that we come into that actually do touch on some emotional things that that are reside in us.
Are there really as much to highlight avenues out of them and avenues for us to grow and change as they are necessary, like to kind of maybe put us on the spot? They’re not there to put us on the spot. They’re to highlight something. I write this down today that rattling bars reveal emotional roots or rattling bars reveal emotional scars. It’s often often the way that situations present themselves to us. And we feel kind of our equilibrium a little bit upset.
We feel out of sorts with something and it can reveal something on the inside. And it’s important that we come and we begin to explore some of those things if we want to grow. And, you know, it. Got it. Got me thinking about how this journey of growth and self discovery that we’re on. And I’m sure that you are on as well, how that really demands that we don’t just go through life with blinders on, that we allow our heart to be sensitive to our responses and our reactions to things.
And rather than kind of judging ourself or belittling ourself or or maybe the opposite of that, like like putting ourself up on some pedestal or getting proud or whatever it may be, we allow those things to give us a view on areas that we can grow in and that we can become a bigger person in. And it got to me it got me thinking about the kind of things that I am practicing in that desire to become a bigger person, in that desire to peel away maybe some of the stuff that the layers that kind of wrap themselves around our heart as we go through life.
So, sir, and peeling away those layers and being aware of who we are on the inside sometimes is not not necessarily a comfortable thing. So there are three things really that I want to share today that I believe can be helpful. And I would love to hear from you as well. What things you are practicing that help you kind of negotiate these these circumstances and situations that you go through. You may be in a certainly for me, one of the biggest areas and the biggest keys is prayer and meditation.
And as a friend of mine pointed out earlier, that worship would be wrapped up into that this engagement with God. But the idea of having a specific time set apart each day to spend time in the presence of God, spend time in his words, spend time in prayer, spend time kind of just bringing I mean, I wrote today, like dumping your day onto him, like rolling your cares on to him, opening up that conversation with him and kind of letting your heart hang out for God to come in is such a such an important thing.
There’s a there’s a scripture in that is very, very powerful one. It says we all with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror, the glory of the Lord are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the spirit of the law. And it’s like I am becoming really is a result of beholding. It’s it’s really what we are looking at, what we are focussing on, what we’re leading our heart into will so much affect what we become.
And of course, what better what what better thing to look up on, what better thing to gaze upon than God himself through his word and also in prayer because. He will reveal himself in in kind of numerous different ways so we can become bigger people on the inside and her and become more impactful in what we do. And then secondly, the scriptures tell us that faith comes by hearing and hearing comes by the word of God. And I would broaden that and say, really, faith comes by hearing and hearing comes by words.
Those words could be words of God. They could be the words that you hear on the news every day. They could be the words on the radio. They could be the words of the songs you listen to. They could be the words of the books that you read. Words affect our lives in a very, very significant way. And so choosing what we hear, choosing what we allow into our eyes and into our ears and through to our heart is such a key, key area of development and growth and becoming the person that God wants you to be and is designed to be.
And of course, as that that that old saying garbage in, garbage out is so true. But there’s also that conversely, the other side of that is if you choose to feed on the right things, just as with our body, you know, if you choose to feed the right things, if it’s not like Big Mac every day, all day, if you choose to feed the right things, you’re going to get the right results. You’re going to see the results of that and the fruits of that.
Exactly the same for us with their spirit. You know, what are you allowing in your ears? Understand that this is a great collectors of sound and information, but they don’t filter that information. They will. They your ears basically will just suck in whatever you expose them to. You know, your eyes will draw in whatever you expose them to. They’re not going to filter it for you. You have to do that. Your heart is the translator of what comes in either through your eyes or through your ears.
And so our place as men and women of God is to filter what we allow past the gatekeeper. We choose what we hear and so we can be very intentional in what we choose to listen to. One of the ways in which I do that is through audio books. So certainly prayer is a big, big kind of daily discipline and also like exposing myself to positive words. No one, obviously the word of God now that can either be reading the Scriptures, but it can also be listening T- to the scriptures.
It can be listening to preaching, teaching, training, whatever, and also audio books. You know, it’s important that we feed the areas that we want to grow in. You know, if you want to grow in your marriage, make sure you’re sowing marriage seeds. OK, so in in the sense of like words going in, OK, good good training, good teaching, good edifying material that will feed in and build your home life if it’s business, you know, feeding in good.
I personally love to listen to audiobooks. That is something that that I find really helpful because it’s something that I can not that I’m a believer necessarily in multitasking. But if, if listening to podcasts or listening to audio books as I run, I do running most days is if that can be counted as multitasking. That’s about as close as I get. Some of the books that I’ve been listening to recently. Some, like current favourites are The Practise by Seth Godin.
That’s a great book, The Pumpkin Plan by Mike Miklowitz. I think that’s how you say his name is another good one. The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry by John. Mark Kohima is an amazing book and so kind of rich with Revelation Fresh Power by Jim Sembler, one of my all time favourites, The Word of Promise Audio Bible is a great one. If you’re looking to listen to the Scriptures and breathe. New Testament is another is another one that I’ve quite enjoyed.
And then the third practice that I would really massively recommend and say that this could be tremendously helpful for. If you are looking to kind of bust out of your cage, you know, like if you hear the bars rattling, you understand that there are ways out of that. There are ways to step beyond your current experience and your current level of exposure to what’s possible, and that’s to weigh journalling. A great book that I massively recommend is it’s called The Four Keys to Hearing God’s Voice by a guy called Mark Voeckler.
Absolutely. Life changing, obviously, only if you take it and apply it. But if you take what’s taught in there and begin to consistently apply the principles that are taught in that book, I would be most surprised if it did not radically transform your experience of conversation with God, hearing God, hearing his voice and being able to really enter into a kind of two way discussion, all intimate friendship with him that speaks into every area of your life, you know, in detail.
It’s not just kind of as sometimes I think the faith life can seem a little bit kind of twice removed. But this brings it totally to home. This brings it closed into every situation. And there’s not one situation now that I don’t bring to him utilising kind of prayer as the foundation engagement in that that kind of just intimate relationship and worship and but then adding the component of journaling to that makes such a big difference. And this idea of two way journaling.
So where there is a kind of question, response type conversation that we open up with the Holy Ghost, that allows him in to speak directly to the situations that we are looking for answers in. And for almost like a few weeks ago, I asked the Lord, like, what’s the key to expansion? Because that we were talking about expansion. And he said the key is this not just thinking about me, but thinking with me, opening up an arena, opening up a way to think with God and have him speak directly into your situation.
And so I recommend those three things, certainly setting time, regular time every day to pray to to to meditate on God’s word, to allow him to to kind of lean into his presence. No, to to be very careful and very intentional in what you hear every day, what you allow in your eyes and what you allow in your ears. And of course, in that really be like choosing to lean into the things that and the areas that you believe God wants you to grow in and expand in and explore, you know, and so giving yourself daily to to do that.
And then the idea of two way journaling, adding some kind of journaling, practise some kind of intentional kind of thinking on paper or in my case, thinking on iPad, I use a an app called Jurnee. It’s like a journaling app. I prefer to use that. Not not necessarily because I I’m a big technology fan, although I do love gadgets, I have to admit. But more because it makes it searchable, so if something comes to my remembrance or if I need to kind of backtrack and like think, oh, well, I know that God spoke to me concerning this situation or this thing.
You know, at some point I can actually search and find those entries at a later date, which I certainly find really, really helpful. So what practices do you engage in every day to help become a bigger person? And what practices do you engage in that help you kind of navigate some of those emotional bumps that we go over in the road of growth and and becoming bigger, more helpful, more impactful people? What are the practices that you engage in?
What’s helpful advice would you give to people who are wanting to kind of break out of their limits and move into new areas of effectiveness? OK, move into new areas of peace, move into new areas of acceptance and growth. What do you do every day to keep the progress happening, the growth happening, the moving toward maturity happening? I would love to hear what you engage with and how you are using and leveraging the tools that are at your disposal and leveraging your time to, number one, help yourself and grow yourself.
And number two, in that persued, help other people and grow other people. You know, there’s a great verse that I would love to just share here. I think this is the one. It’s from Psalms. And there are a couple of places in the Psalms where this kind of picture is drawn in this word picture. It says, he brought me out into a broad place. He delivered me because he delighted in me Psalm 18. And just this picture of being brought out into a broad place, like I say, is at the beginning of this broadcast.
And on my blog, there are Davidleemartin.com, what prompted me to to share what I’ve shared today was this idea of my own emotional cage being rattled by a particular interaction in a particular situation. You know, and this idea, like Larna said, you know, like if your cage is being rattled, it’s probably kind of trying to alert you to the fact that you’re actually in a cage like hello. You wake up and like they’re looking like, OK, God, I’m in a cage here.
How can I step out? How can I step into what the Bible calls a broad place? I want to come into a broad place of peace, a broad place, Lord, where I can be more useful, more helpful, more impactful, more loving, more graceful, more like joyful, whatever it may be. You name anything positive. That’s what we want to come into, isn’t it? And we want to exit the things that keep us small and keep us limited in our interactions, in our relationships and in our businesses and ministries and our impact.
So, yeah, let’s allow the Holy Ghost to teach us ways to come into that, allow him to deliver us and delight in us just as we delight in him, delight in the day in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. But how much more exciting is it to also recognise that God delights in you, God delights in you and wants to bring you into that place of freedom, wants to release you from whatever restrictions you feel at like emotionally or spiritually, and deliver you into a new place.
And I think that one of the key ways to do that, as I say, just as I wrap up here, is to indeed still install some daily practice. Is that help you to consistently and persistently move toward that place of kind of breaking out of the mould, breaking out of maybe old ways of thinking, old ways of responding, old ways of reacting and thinking and coming in to this broad place that God has for you? God bless you.
And thanks for listening. Much appreciated. Have a great day. Well, thanks for listening. Hopefully it’s been an encouragement to you today. If you want to connect any further, you can do so through my website at Davidleemartin.com. Have a great day.