Spring is finally here! I love it when Spring comes to Northern California! Everything is green again, flowers are blooming, there is warmer weather, and the birds are chirping! Life is exploding everywhere I look! Along with all of those beautiful expressions of Spring come two looming projects, taxes, and spring-cleaning. I really enjoy the latter. In fact, I enjoy order and cleanliness so I am convinced that a borderline obsessive compulsive like myself started spring-cleaning!
Heading into this Spring, I felt the need to challenge myself. I wanted to add something different to my to-do list this year. Something more transformative than reorganized closets, bookcases, and filing cabinets (although I do very much look forward to those!). Gaining inspiration from the life of David whose perspective of God changed history, I decided to biblically challenge my current perception of God. I asked the Holy Spirit “What about my current working knowledge of God is not biblical?”
This question is deeper than what you would “say” you know about God. Often what we “say” we know about Him does not line up with what we expect from Him or how we respond towards Him.
I am in the middle of teaching a ten week class on the Life of David. Though I have often fancied myself as a student of his life, the thought of teaching ten classes, two hours each, is a bit daunting. During one of the classes I began sharing how understanding and patient I feel the Father has been with me. I became very emotional sharing about this to the students and am once again becoming emotional while recalling it now. Looking back at how generously patient and loving He has been over the course of my life makes me feel so loved!
After class, while on my way home, I continued to contemplate it all. I began thinking about how growing up the majority of my life without an earthly father in my life, I would often imagine what “the perfect dad” would be like. He would be strong, encouraging, gentle when needed, hardworking, loving, thoughtful, humble, wise, generous, consistent, fun, and patient. Yes, the perfect father would be patient with me.
Before my mom ran away with my sisters and me, I remember the extreme and physically abusive reactions my dad would have to small mistakes I made. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I realized that I lived perpetually worrying that I would make a mistake and the result would be an extreme reaction from someone.
Now, Holy Spirit was helping me go deeper. He showed me that whenever I would tell of God’s patience, it has almost always been in a reflective way and I would inconsistently allow the truth of His forgiving nature towards me empower me. I can look back and see an ebb and flow of projecting my past fears of an impatient dad onto my Long-Suffering Heavenly Father. Well, that was enough for me, I decided to be done with that inconsistency! Out with the old mindset and in with the new! I repented of allowing my past bad experiences to affect how I viewed God and vowed to do my best to live with the freedom of having a patient Father in Heaven.
This is 2015’s Spring-cleaning for me. I will live a life with the wonderful knowledge that I have an imperturbable Heavenly Father. After all, long-suffering is one of the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) so I choose to throw out the old fear of that He might grow impatient. What will this Spring-cleaning hold for you? Will you simply clean out your home and put old things into a neat pile on the curb? Possibly, do you feel the Holy Spirit speaking to you to go deeper this year? Do you hear Him urging you not to settle for exterior results, but to challenge your current mindsets that may not line up with His word? I sincerely pray the latter for you.
Life is full of choices and for me, this has been difficult because I have often been afraid of making the wrong ones. I hope you choose to allow the Holy Spirit to help you identify a mindset you have had that is impeding your greatness, and then THROW IT OUT! If you do, I would encourage you to write down specifically what the your new mindset is and some related scriptures to help you achieve it. Every article or study I’ve read about goal achievement have all said writing down your goal and specific steps to achieve it increases your chances of achieving it!