Resistance - 1
Something has been rumbling and stirring around in my mind for several days. I suppose that is not so unusual. I think that my practice of avoidance of watching TV most of the time and limiting my intake of radio listening allows much more time and space internally to actually think more original thoughts and also trains my spirit to listen more carefully. So I enjoy thinking about things and allowing my heart to make observations whenever it comes up with something different or interesting.
As is often the case, until I actually sit down and begin writing about something it often does not become real clear to me. Discussing it with others can have a similar effect, but so far writing seems to be the most efficient way of flushing something out into the open and bringing more clarity and focus to it so I can understand it better.
The thing that seems to be emerging right now is something about the nature of resistance. It seems to be something that I am starting to see in a lot of places I didn't think about it being before. In fact, it is starting to cause me to think I may have to revisit some of my definitions of many other words because I am wondering if the labels we give things may limit our perspectives too much. I am almost wondering if resistance itself may be far closer to the core of everything going on in our life far more than I ever dreamed before. It might be one of the key ingredients in all that is wrong with our lives and all that keeps us from coming into the intimacy with God that we long to experience.
Again, I am faced with dual meanings for nearly every word that is used. It is one thing to come to believe and understand something with my mind and a very different thing to believe and understand it at the heart level. So when someone says that they believe something I am always left wondering just which kind of belief they are really talking about or if they might really even know themselves. I ask myself that same question many times trying to discern what is really going on and why I am so unpredictable at times.
But this thing about resistance – it keeps cropping up in more and more things that I think about and I wonder how much light might be had to expose many other things if I could realize how intricately tied this resistance is to so many other things. For instance, I think about the enormous and even physically noticeable sense of relief and even rest one might feel whenever they let go of some guilt they have been carrying around far too long. Maybe they broke down and confessed something that had been eating at their conscience for many years or maybe they experienced some reconciliation with someone they had held a grudge against. That sense of relief, of peace, of relaxation that can flood all through the body and soul may actually be a distinct sense of the sudden absence of resistance.
Resistance is sort of like a spring. The tighter you wind it up, storing more and more tension into its coil, the more you have to keep holding it continuously to keep it from unwinding. It requires resistance to keep that spring in tension. I believe that internal lies can also help to hold that spring in place.
The spring can be loaded with all sorts of different emotions and choices. It could be wound up with fear or with feeling offended by what someone says about me. It could be wound up with hurts or misunderstandings done to me by others that I refuse to forgive immediately. It could be tensioned by guilt induced in my heart from gossiping about people and resisting the promptings of the Spirit to recant and repent.
Basically, everything involved in sin is likely to add windings to my internal emotional spring and tighten it up a bit. All of my negative emotions not only can add tension to my spring but can result from the tension already invested there. Then it becomes like a vicious cycle of self-feeding anxiety or some other negative emotion. My emotions add to the spring and my spring feeds my emotions.
God is desiring for us to live life without the negative consequences of living with a tightly wound spring in our hearts. I believe that we were not designed for this type of tension to motivate us. Yet many people are so accustomed to depending on stress, fear or worry to keep them going that they believe it is normal or maybe even healthy. Others look for things like lust or greed or hunger for power to be a motivation to move their lives along. But all of these things produce unhealthy stresses that add to the resistance built into their internal spring.
Through my study of the real truth about God's version of hell I have come to realize the immense implications of resistance and how my own resistance to God's love and truth is the greatest threat to my eternal life. This fact is starting to expand in my thinking lately and I realize that I need to be more aware of how much resistance plays a part in my own life right now. If I can be more cognizant of its presence and how much it is damaging me and setting me up for tasting hell even now, I can be better poised to cooperate with God in releasing my resistance and relaxing in a healthy dependence on Him.
Legalism involves a great deal of resistance. I am well aware of that because I was long trained in that area. A person like this tends to strongly resist messages about grace. They constantly are feeling defensive and are afraid of being exposed. So they resist clear statements of the truth about grace, forgiveness, unconditional love and all sorts of related truths about God. This resistance creates a great deal of tension in their lives and even problems in their bodies at times. Again, I am keenly aware of this myself. For many years I felt very tired all the time and just thought it was normal. After I began to believe and experience the grace of God in my life and began to learn the real truth about trusting His heart, I noticed that I didn't get near so tired anymore, even in my everyday work. Looking back I could see that the guilt and my fears about God were sapping away all of my physical strength as well as my spiritual potential. I had been trained to resist God all of those years and it was costing me a great deal.
I am starting to see more and more that resistance is like a common thread through so many things. But if that is true, then it seems that it should stand to reason that if I learned how to recognize and deal head-on with my problem of resistance that maybe many other things that now baffle or cling so tenaciously to my life might lose much of their stickiness if I just learned to let go of my resistance. And if I could see more clearly how and what it is that I am resisting maybe it would be easier to quit resisting it and fall into the arms of a God who really does care about me. Then I could also relax more easily in His embrace.
I need to unpack this a lot more. I am pondering this and seeking God's input in this matter for I feel that it may be vitally important for me and might even induce a major breakthrough in many other areas of my life where I am feeling stuck right now.
Father, show me more clearly this issue of resistance and how much it permeates so much of my relationship with You and with others. Retrain my mind and heart to recognize it more clearly and give me the courage and humility to surrender my resistance and to see it for what it really is. Show me how much I am missing because of my resistance and show me what it is that keeps me from letting go of my resistance and using it so much. Show me Your heart and how Jesus lived without resisting evil people who took advantage of Him while trusting You all the time to take care of Him. I need to have that same Spirit in my heart through Your power. I choose to lay down my defensiveness and my resistance to You right now, but I suspect that this is going to have to happen all the time and not just once.
Thank-you for surrounding me with Your Spirit and sharing Your wisdom and insights with me each day. Make me an unresistant channel of blessing and grace to others through which Your love can flow.