Larna and I laughed last night about rattling cages.
My own cage was rattled by something and I shared it with her to get perspective. When my emotional bars are shaking it’s hard to discern whether my response (or more likely, reaction) is honest or not.
Larna, in her indisputable and oh-so-compassionate way, pointed out that my cage can only be rattled because I’m choosing to stay in there, and that maybe God was allowing a mini-heartquake to alert me to the fact that the door to the cage is actually swinging open on it’s hinges if I would only choose to step out.
It is part of the journey of self-discovery we have embarked upon, and the highs and lows of getting bigger and mustering courage to grow a business or ministry are an inevitable part of the deal.
It’s easy to look outside ourselves and think that the roller-coaster is driven by external forces.
In reality, you are holding the levers.
Here are three things that I am leaning into to navigate the course of growth and the peeling away of the old man.
1. Prayer and Meditation
A regular time each day simply being in God’s presence is a number one necessity. I can’t speak for anyone else but I quickly find myself overwhelmed if I’m not dumping my days into the Father’s lap on a regular basis. There are some conversations that can only take place in His presence, because He alone has answers deep and resonant enough to affect lasting change.
“But 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, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 3:18 NKJV)
Transformation and becoming happens through beholding. In Him we see ourselves as He intended, and the reflection of our true selves rubs off!
2. Hearing With The Heart
Ears are great collectors of sound and information, but the heart is the translator. Like any system with input and output the old adage “garbage in, garbage out” is at work here. Conversely, if you put in the right nutrients, the right words, the right teachers and mentors, the most powerful promises, and learn pathways to see them realised, your growth and formation will be apparent.
Paul told his young mentee, Timothy, “Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all.” (1 Timothy 4:15 NKJV)
The system is designed by God to work, every time. Faith comes by hearing, and hearing comes through words. What you feed the system will produce after it’s own kind.
Listening to God’s Word is a no-brainer of course, but beyond that we must be sowing into the areas we seek to grow. Among others, I particularly enjoy listening to books on prayer, business and simple living for instance.
Some of my recent favourites include:
The Practice by Seth Godin – https://amzn.to/3oh2WYc
The Pumpkin Plan by Mike Michalowicz – https://amzn.to/3t0vYio
The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry by John Mark Comer – https://amzn.to/3iSpwoM
Fresh Power by Jim Cymbala – https://amzn.to/3iOsjj5
The Word of Promise Audio Bible – https://amzn.to/3otlTHq
The Breathe New Testament – https://amzn.to/39jSjj0
3. Two-Way Journaling
There are three things that have radically moved the needle for me in my prayer life and deepening relationship with God; baptism in the Holy Spirit and praying in tongues, the discovery and practice of Tabernacle Prayer (for a free guide go to: https://www.davidleemartin.net/tabernacle-prayer-guide) and engaging in a two-way conversation with God through prayer and journalling. I’ve been a praying man for as long as I can remember, but after reading Mark Virkler’s 4 Keys To Hearing God’s Voice (https://amzn.to/3iOHuc1) and consistently applying the principles he teaches, the detailed and personal direction God offers each one of us, was opened to me in a richly satisfying way. Truly life-changing.
What regular practices do you apply to keep extending the boundaries in your life? How are you responding to the clanging of your mental and emotional cages?
Do you have keys you can share with others that will help them step out of their incarceration and enjoy a brighter, broader and less boarded up and boring future?
“He also brought me out into a broad place; He delivered me because He delighted in me.” (Psalm 18:19 NKJV)
Financial Disclosure: The Amazon links in this article are associates links and I will become indescribably rich if you click on them (not really, but I will earn a few cents).