In case you missed our last podcast episode, you can catch that one here:
Podcast Episode 21: Approval Addiction Outline:
Dissecting Approval Addiction
My Issues with Perfectionism
Moses’ Issues with People-Pleasing
Good afternoon! Welcome to Episode 21: Healing Our Brokenness. Today’s Episode is entitled, “Approval Addiction”.
Dissecting Approval Addiction
Perfectionism and People pleasing are more acceptable words to say. It sounds better and makes us feel better than to tell someone that we suffer from approval addiction. Saying the words approval addiction makes us want to cringe. However, the deeper issue of these two sins is the need for approval. When it comes to the brokenness that occurs in our lives, either we tend to follow in the footsteps that this emotion caused, or we will do the exact opposite. People pleasing and perfectionism stem from rejection. If we are rejected, then the natural thing to do is to 1) disappear, or become invisible, or 2) to make sure that someone sees me.
First of all, we will examine the sin of people pleasing. When it comes to people pleasing, we are focusing on doing the things that people want us to do. If it gets to the extreme, where we are so trying to keep everybody happy, that we have literally lost our own sense of self in the process, that’s when we get to the point of waking up one day, and then asking ourselves, “Okay, what do I want?”
I have done everything that everyone else wanted me to do. How do I live outside of this? For example, If there are 50 people in a room, and we took a survey to see how all fifty of these people thought that we should style our hair, we could possibly have anywhere between 20 to 50 answers. What if we decided to follow their advice, we’d be going around just like the energizer bunny, worn out, and a tired, hot mess. They would be happy, but we wouldn’t be because we have decided to forego being true to ourselves. We have lost a sense of what we value and hold true to ourselves.
The next sin that we will examine is that of perfectionism. I was abandoned by my dad at age 11. I felt rejected. Since my mom and dad were no longer together, and we were total opposites, and I had to have some kind of conclusion to come to in a child’s mind, then I felt rejected by her. Thirdly, I had a situation where I stood outside of the Baptist church that I grew up in, and one teenager said to another, “Her mother is so beautiful. I wonder what happened to her.”
To a teenage girl, this is devastating. Mix it in with the fact that I already had double issues of rejection from my parents, as well as physical insecurities. It rocked my world. I internalized what was said. And then, I was setup on the course for dating and then marrying my ex-husband, who had his only brokenness of being controlling, manipulative, emotionally abusive, serial cheating, and the list goes on. I endured a 20-year marriage of this. And the question is, since I had grounds for divorce, why did I stay so long?
My Issues with Perfectionism
The above two reasons that I mentioned: extreme insecurities about my appearance and the three-part rejection issue. He was able to keep me in his back pocket so long because of my low-self worth. And, unfortunately, in my brokenness, I allowed it. It wasn’t until about three years ago that I got to the root of my perfectionism/approval addiction issues.
God was gracious and merciful at the time. Secondly, he showed me how it played out. I was the rule follower. The “good girl” in grammar school and high school. Katina didn’t get into trouble. My perfection played out in winning spelling bees, high grades in school, and performing in oratorical contests. I loved doing all these things. However, there was also recognition for doing all these things. Instead of choosing to become invisible, I chose to be seen.
Because of my ex-husband’s brokenness, he pretended like all I had to do was a few things and we would get back to the way that things were. What I didn’t know in the beginning is that I could do 50 things, or 1000 things, and the relationship was never going back to the beginning. I had been love-bombed, gaslight, devalued, and being groomed for discard unfortunately.
Perfectionism went from one area of my life to every area as I tried to fix him and give structure and control an out-of-control person. Who was I fooling? There was a two-way street going. I was on a mission to the fixing what he needed, and I took the devil’s bait of getting my self-worth from him instead of God. We will never be filled by another individual in an area that only God can fill. And if you are dealing with someone with his type of brokenness, they will just keep adding to the list, making you think, “if only you do this”. Trust me, it will never happen.
Moses’ Issues with People-Pleasing
Moses had the same setup from the Israelites. He led the
people out of Egypt as God had told him, but then all of the
needy people were coming to him for everything.
Here is the scripture taken from Exodus 18:
“18 Jethro, the priest of Midian, Moses’ father-in-law, heard of all that God had done for Moses and for Israel his people, how the Lord had brought Israel out of Egypt. 2 Now Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, had taken Zipporah, Moses’ wife, after he had sent her home, 3 along with her two sons. The name of the one was Gershom (for he said, “I have been a sojourner[a] in a foreign land”), 4 and the name of the other, Eliezer[b] (for he said, “The God of my father was my help, and delivered me from the sword of Pharaoh”). 5 Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, came with his sons and his wife to Moses in the wilderness where he was encamped at the mountain of God.
6 And when he sent word to Moses, “I,[c] your father-in-law Jethro, am coming to you with your wife and her two sons with her,” 7 Moses went out to meet his father-in-law and bowed down and kissed him. And they asked each other of their welfare and went into the tent. 8 Then Moses told his father-in-law all that the Lord had done to Pharaoh and to the Egyptians for Israel’s sake, all the hardship that had come upon them in the way, and how the Lord had delivered them. 9 And Jethro rejoiced for all the good that the Lord had done to Israel, in that he had delivered them out of the hand of the Egyptians.
10 Jethro said, “Blessed be the Lord, who has delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians and out of the hand of Pharaoh and has delivered the people from under the hand of the Egyptians. 11 Now I know that the Lord is greater than all gods, because in this affair they dealt arrogantly with the people.”[d]12 And Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, brought a burnt offering and sacrifices to God; and Aaron came with all the elders of Israel to eat bread with Moses’ father-in-law before God.
13 The next day Moses sat to judge the people, and the people stood around Moses from morning till evening. 14 When Moses’ father-in-law saw all that he was doing for the people, he said, “What is this that you are doing for the people? Why do you sit alone, and all the people stand around you from morning till evening?” 15 And Moses said to his father-in-law, “Because the people come to me to inquire of God;
16 when they have a dispute, they come to me and I decide between one person and another, and I make them know the statutes of God and his laws.”17 Moses’ father-in-law said to him, “What you are doing is not good.18 You and the people with you will certainly wear yourselves out, for the thing is too heavy for you. You are not able to do it alone.
19 Now obey my voice; I will give you advice, and God be with you! You shall represent the people before God and bring their cases to God, 20 and you shall warn them about the statutes and the laws, and make them know the way in which they must walk and what they must do. 21 Moreover, look for able men from all the people, men who fear God, who are trustworthy and hate a bribe, and place such men over the people as chiefs of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens.
22 And let them judge the people at all times. Every great matter they shall bring to you, but any small matter they shall decide themselves. So it will be easier for you, and they will bear the burden with you. 23 If you do this, God will direct you, you will be able to endure, and all this people also will go to their place in peace.”
24 So Moses listened to the voice of his father-in-law and did all that he had said. 25 Moses chose able men out of all Israel and made them heads over the people, chiefs of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens.26 And they judged the people at all times. Any hard case they brought to Moses, but any small matter they decided themselves. 27 Then Moses let his father-in-law depart, and he went away to his own country.”
What happened to Moses is kind of like having your children say, “Mom”. You answer and then it turns into fifty more times. And to be honest, by then you are aggravated, and ready to run away or ring someone’s neck. It gets played out real fast. However, like in my relationship, Moses had his rejection issues from birth, and then his life in Egypt that were never resolved. He got caught in people pleasing/approval addiction. He could help the people in their neediness, and they could help provide him with the approval that he craved that should have been filled by God.
What happens? We get tired after a while. Emotional, physical, spiritual, and psychological exhaustion takes place on both sides. Codependency sets in, like in me and Moses’ situation. Bottom Line: We can’t give people what they need.
God is telling us like he told Martha, “Come, sit at my feet. Rest in me. Fill your soul with spirit-filled activities. People are never going to be enough.” He is a jealous God. And he is jealous of our people worship.
He keeps telling us: “Come unto me all ye that labor, and I will give you rest.”
When we choose people pleasing and perfectionism over God, then we choose to settle for broken pieces of shame, other people’s expectations, rejection, unworthiness, and unacceptance.
So, how do we start the recovery process from approval addiction?
We remind ourselves that our identity is in Christ.
We speak to our soul and tell it, “God loves you!”
Remind ourselves that Jesus was despised and rejected so he can identify with our pain.
Christ is enough, and we are enough in Christ.
Rest in God.
We tell ourselves the follow statement:
“We are all broken, and so when we look to others for approval, we are getting approval from everyone else’s broken lens.”-Katina Horton
Thank you for listening to Healing Our Brokenness: Episode 21: Approval Addiction. I hope that you have been able to have some takeaways to add to your healing. God bless!
We will disappointment others, and others will disappointment us. Whatever the case may be, disappointments can take us on a whirlwind of emotions, processing, and more emotions, and processing. It can leave us in a cave of events, and shame if we continue ruminating over each thing that happened, instead of processing the events for healing purposes.
Episode 20: Just a Little White Lie Healing Our Brokenness Podcast Seri...
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If you missed the last episode, you can grab it here. Today’s episode deals with something that we have all found ourselves doing. Click and take a listen!
Episode 20: Just a Little White Lie Podcast Outline
What are we lying about?
Two Stories of Biblical Lying
Welcome to Valley of Grace’s Healing Our Brokenness. Today I am featuring “Episode 20: Just A
Little White Lie”. Lying is something
that we have all done. When we lie, and
someone calls us out on it, our response is usually, “Oh it’s just a little
white lie. Everybody lies.”
So, what are some of the things that we are lying
about? Sometimes when we lie, it is to
spare hurting someone’s feelings. Other
times we lie to make ourselves look good, or as if we “have it altogether”,
when we don’t. When we enter the church
doors on Sunday morning, and we are greeting other Sisters and Brothers in
Christ, and they ask about our status, we are afraid to tell them “Okay” or
“Not too Good at the Present moment”, or “I’m going through trials at the present
moment, but I know that God is good.”
Forbid if we get real. No, we
have to say, “Really Good” or “Good”. Or
better yet, “ Fine.”
The last one was one of my favorites until I saw how jacked up that made me feel afterwards. If I was not fine at the time, and I tried to outwardly act like I was happy go lucky, my emotional and mental state knew that something wasn’t matching up. It would actually cause me to experience the trauma symptom of having dysregulated emotions and depression. Go figure.
A few months after I started noticing that was happening, I read a psychology article stating that it makes your emotions harder to control when you do this. Not that we should wallow in self-pity or anything, but when you think about it, we are one way, and trying to signal our emotions and body to do a quick 360 degree turnaround and be okay. The answer is “No” to that one.
r emotions and body to do a quick 360 degree turnaround and be okay. The answer is “No” to that one.
What else are we lying about?
We lie about our jobs, the kind of cars that we drive, our marital
status, and whether we were at home when someone tried to reach us.
When we’re at work, and the ladies or men are in a huddle
talking about their kids and their extracurricular activities, material
possessions, or their socioeconomic statuses, we lie about ours.
When we are in our church small groups, we lie about our
woundedness for fear that everybody else will have lighter sins and issues than
us. We don’t want to look “too broken”. We have to look as close to Jesus “perfect” as
possible. When we lie and head to the
perfection side of things, we actually cause someone else to miss their
opportunity to know that they are not alone.
Not only that, we quench the Holy Spirit , and miss out on our blessing.
No matter where we are, we find ourselves lying about our
intentions to others. We come to them,
telling them one thing. However, our
agenda is another. In a lot of cases, the
person that we are lying to is totally unaware of what is going on. One thing about being actively in the pursuit
of lying, there is always someone who witnesses what’s going on. And if there isn’t what the other person
doesn’t know, God knows. And such is the
situation that occurred with David.
David was on the run from Saul. He was without food and weaponry. He went to Ahimelek the priest and lied to
him about his intentions.
David at Nob
21 David went to Nob, to
Ahimelek the priest. Ahimelek trembled when he met him, and asked, “Why are you
alone? Why is no one with you?”
2 David answered Ahimelek the
priest, “The king sent me on a mission and said to me, ‘No one is to know
anything about the mission I am sending you on.’ As for my men, I have told
them to meet me at a certain place. 3 Now then,
what do you have on hand? Give me five loaves of bread, or whatever you can
4 But the priest answered David, “I
don’t have any ordinary bread on hand; however, there is some
consecrated bread here—provided the men have kept themselves from
5 David replied, “Indeed women have
been kept from us, as usual whenever I set out. The men’s bodies are
holy even on missions that are not holy. How much more so today!” 6 So
the priest gave him the consecrated bread, since there was no bread there
except the bread of the Presence that had been removed from before the Lord and replaced by hot bread on
the day it was taken away.
7 Now one of Saul’s servants was
there that day, detained before the Lord;
he was Doeg the Edomite, Saul’s chief shepherd.
8 David asked Ahimelek, “Don’t you
have a spear or a sword here? I haven’t brought my sword or any other weapon,
because the king’s mission was urgent.”
9 The priest replied, “The
sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you killed in the Valley of
Elah, is here; it is wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod. If you want it,
take it; there is no sword here but that one.”
David said, “There is none
like it; give it to me.”
David made the assumption
that lying to Ahimelek would prevent Ahimelek from getting in the crossfire of
Saul’s hunt for David’s life. What David
didn’t anticipate was the fact that Saul’s right-hand man, Doeg, the Edomite, would
be hanging around Nob, witnessing the whole transaction that occurred between
him and Ahimelek. Therefore, Doeg was
going to give Saul the report according to his perception of what he saw.
David underestimated the
demonic forces that he was dealing with.
If Saul was willing to kill his own son, what would he do to someone who
wasn’t? So, what ended up happening?
Just as we are thinking, Doeg tricked on David. Basically, he said something like this, “Saul,
guess who I saw over in Nob, getting Ahimelek’s blessing?”
6 Now Saul heard that David and his men had been discovered. And
Saul was seated, spear in hand, under the tamarisk tree on the hill
at Gibeah, with all his officials standing at his side. 7 He said to them,
“Listen, men of Benjamin! Will the son of Jesse give all of you fields and
vineyards? Will he make all of you commanders of thousands and commanders
of hundreds? 8 Is that why
you have all conspired against me? No one tells me when my son makes a
covenant with the son of Jesse. None of you is concerned about
me or tells me that my son has incited my servant to lie in wait for me, as he
9 But Doeg the Edomite, who was standing with Saul’s officials,
said, “I saw the son of Jesse come to Ahimelek son of Ahitub at Nob. 10 Ahimelek
inquired of the Lord for him; he also gave him
provisions and the swordof Goliath the Philistine.”
11 Then the king sent for the priest Ahimelek son of Ahitub and all
the men of his family, who were the priests at Nob, and they all came to the
king. 12 Saul
said, “Listen now, son of Ahitub.”
my lord,” he answered.
13 Saul said to him, “Why have you conspired against me, you and
the son of Jesse, giving him bread and a sword and inquiring of God for him, so
that he has rebelled against me and lies in wait for me, as he does today?”
14 Ahimelek answered the king, “Who of all your servants is as
loyal as David, the king’s son-in-law, captain of your bodyguard and highly
respected in your household? 15 Was that day the first time I inquired of
God for him? Of course not! Let not the king accuse your servant or any of his
father’s family, for your servant knows nothing at all about this whole
16 But the king said, “You will surely die, Ahimelek, you and your
17 Then the king ordered the guards at his side: “Turn and kill the
priests of the Lord, because they too have sided with David. They knew he was
fleeing, yet they did not tell me.”
the king’s officials were unwilling to raise a hand to strike the priests
of the Lord.
18 The king then ordered Doeg, “You turn and strike down the
priests.”So Doeg the Edomite turned and struck them down. That day he killed
eighty-five men who wore the linen ephod. 19 He also put to the swordNob, the town
of the priests, with its men and women, its children and infants, and its
cattle, donkeys and sheep.
20 But one son of Ahimelek son of Ahitub, named
Abiathar, escaped and fled to join David. 21 He told David
that Saul had killed the priests of the Lord. 22 Then David said to Abiathar, “That day,
when Doeg the Edomite was there, I knew he would be sure to tell Saul. I
am responsible for the death of your whole family. 23 Stay with me; don’t be afraid. The man who
wants to kill you is trying to kill me too. You will be safe with me.”
David’s lying caused Ahimilek, and all of his household, except for one, and all the other priests of Nob to be killed.
The last thing that I want
to talk about are the lies we tell about our stewardship. When we find out others are giving more money
than we are, we tend to lie about how much we are giving. When it comes to lying about stewardship, we
are lying to God, not men.
If we were able to, we would go back in time and ask Ananias and
Sapphira about this. The Christians over
in the book of Acts were on fire after being filled with the Holy Ghost. They operated on “one accord” at the time. If there were any brethren in need, they
would sell their additional land, and then offer it up to the disciples. No one was without. Ananias and Sapphira sold some of their land.
Their desire was to keep back of the money for themselves. They could have expressed this to the
disciples, but they didn’t. Selling your
land was an act of the heart and will.
It wasn’t a force situation.
The thing is, they wanted to appear super generous like everyone
else. Unfortunately, their lies caught
up with them, and then cost both of them their lives:
a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of
property. 2 With
his wife’s full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but
brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet.
3 Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled
your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for
yourself some of the money you received for the land? 4 Didn’t it belong
to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal?
What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied just to human
beings but to God.”
5 When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great
fear seized all who heard what had happened. 6 Then some young
men came forward, wrapped up his body, and carried him out and buried him.
7 About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had
happened. 8 Peter
asked her, “Tell me, is this the price you and Ananias got for the land?”
she said, “that is the price.”
9 Peter said to her, “How could you conspire to test the Spirit of
the Lord? Listen! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door,
and they will carry you out also.”
10 At that moment she fell down at his feet and died. Then the
young men came in and, finding her dead, carried her out and buried her beside
her husband. 11 Great
fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events.
And so, the question that I will leave you with is this, “What
“little white lie” are we telling that could heap disastrous results?
Thank you for listening to another episode of Healing Our Brokenness.
Anxiety is something that we will all face in life. The causes of anxiety and the solutions for dealing with this common problem will vary from person to person. Listen in to Episode 19 as I discuss this topic.
Episode 19: Podcast Outline
Trying to be Sovereign Anxiety
David on Anxiety
Solutions for Anxiety
Good morning! Welcome to Valley of Grace’s Healing Our Brokenness podcast. Today, you are listening to Episode 19: Anxiety!
Picture this scene: I was in 7th grade, and at the time, I enjoyed competing in oratorical contests for fun. However, because my mother was a single parent, and had to work, she was never able to come to see me compete. I should have been grateful that she was working. However, I got caught up on her being there. She finally decided to come. However, she forgot to forewarn me. I was on the stage, and she waved to show me that she was there, and my mind went blank after the first two lines. I could hear my words trembling, and feel my whole body shaking intensely. She hadn’t done anything wrong, but my lack of preparedness for her coming totally threw me for a loop.
When we hear the word anxiety, all kinds of thoughts come to mind. Anxiety is normal in certain cases. For example, recently I was waiting for the test results from a mammogram, and as I was listening to the person on the phone, I became anxious as I proposed what her words would be and how I would react to them. Anxiety can sneak upon us as we get ready to take a quiz, and it can cause us to forget everything that we were going to say.
Anxiety can be debilitating. This type can often be hereditary and would fall under the column of anxiety disorder. That means that if our grandparents and parents have suffered from anxiety disorder, then it is a high chance that we could be dealing with the same issue. When we suffer from this kind of anxiety, it is something that we had no control over.
Trying to be Sovereign Anxiety
There is, however, another kind of anxiety that I am going to discuss. This type of anxiety is from the things that we place on ourselves. Examples of this is trying to fix problems that we don’t have control over. We try to control our adult children and the mistakes that they make in their lives. There is a desire to control whether or not people will accept or reject our uniqueness.
We try to control whether the job that we have had for over 15 years will be the job that we retire from. Do you control the discipline that God gives to a family or friend in regard to their sin, and in the process, we began to enable the individual? When we try so hard to control, it only makes us more out of control. This eagerness to control creates an addiction within itself. This is what the devil doesn’t tell us. We don’t know until it’s too late.
Another type of anxiety that we place on ourselves is that
of making changes for the sake of coming out of vicious cycles. For example:
Stacy notices that she has an anxiety attack every morning in regard to
getting out the door and getting to work.
Reasoning: Every morning Stacy
stays in bed until 30 minutes before it’s time to leave to go to work. She has to rush to put makeup on, get her
breakfast, and pack her lunch. Stacy
knows what is behind this problem, but she fails to make the changes. Stacy is self-sabotaging.
Scheduling is another type of self-inflicted anxiety. This is the area that I am guilty of, and starting to make progress in. We pile as much as we can into a given day. The more things we keep adding to that list, the more things will be added to our list of anxiety about. The first thing that we don’t consider is exactly how long it will take to get each thing done. There are only so many hours in the day.
If we work outside the home, those hours are shortened. Unless we are God, there is no way that we can get all those things done, but we try. Sometimes it is possible to get those things done, but we have used this time up on social media, or doing a little bit too much relaxing, only to start the vicious cycle all about again.
The last type of anxiety that I would like to discuss is that of trauma-induced anxiety. Unfortunately, this kind is one that I am very familiar with. One kind of trauma anxiety is created from having to be in hypervigilant mode all the time. The other part of trauma anxiety that I have noticed for myself is that I might have a flashback or a trigger of something.
Then, what happens is that my mind may start to think about the details and feelings that this event caused. I push the thought away, thinking that maybe it is unimportant, only to realize later when it resurfaces, and continues to occupy my emotional and mental space, that it is something that I need to deal with. However, since trauma wants to be in control, it will cause you to start self-protecting, and then rationalizing why you shouldn’t talk about this thing.
You think you’ve somehow outsmarted trauma, but it outsmarts you because when this event keeps coming up, it usually causes anxiety to go from 0 to 1000 in your body, while the flashbacks are occurring, and what you don’t realize is that avoidance of discussion of this event is keeping the physical energy in your body, and delaying the healing at the same time.
I learned this the hard way when I tried avoiding talking about seeing my father abuse my mother in our apartment as a kid. I kept delaying and delaying, scratching off on my therapy notes, and saying, “Nope, not this week!” Weeks turned into months, and then finally when I couldn’t take it any longer and started feeling the impulse of swinging and punching at its peak, I did the best thing that I could do. I talked about it with my therapist. It got worse before it got better.
Now, when those feelings come up, I pretend like I am
kickboxing in order to release the energy from my body. Before discussing this event with my
therapist, I would zone into worship music to calm the impulses. What I didn’t realize is that the energy
needs to leave your body.
We ask God to help us with all kinds of things. However, we forget to ask him to help us with
anxiety, and to get to the root. In
Psalms 139 David reminds us about how God knows everything. We can’t hide anything from him. His presence follows us.
139 O Lord, you have searched me [thoroughly] and have known me. 2
You know when I sit down and when I rise up [my entire life, everything I do];
You understand my thought from afar. 3
You scrutinize my path and my lying down,
And You are intimately acquainted with all my ways. 4
Even before there is a word on my tongue [still unspoken],
Behold, O Lord, You know it
You have enclosed me behind and before,
And [You have] placed Your hand upon me. 6
Such [infinite] knowledge is too wonderful for me;
It is too high [above me], I cannot reach it.
7 Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? 8 If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol (the nether world, the place of the dead), behold, You are there. 9 If I take the wings of the dawn, If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, 10 Even there Your hand will lead me, And Your right hand will take hold of me. 11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will cover me, And the night will be the only light around me,” 12 Even the darkness is not dark to You and conceals nothing from You, But the night shines as bright as the day; Darkness and light are alike to You.
For You formed my innermost parts;
You knit me [together] in my mother’s womb. 14
I will give thanks and praise to You, for I am fearfully and
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well. 15
My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was being formed in secret,
And intricately and skillfully formed [as if embroidered with
many colors] in the depths of the earth. 16
Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book were all written
The days that were appointed for me,
When as yet there was not one of them [even taking shape].
How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How vast is the sum of them! 18
If I could count them, they would outnumber the sand.
When I awake, I am still with You.
19 [a]O that You would
kill the wicked, O God;
Go away from me, therefore, men of bloodshed. 20
For they speak against You wickedly,
Your enemies take Your name in vain. 21
Do I not hate those who hate You, O Lord?
And do I not loathe those who rise up against You? 22
I hate them with perfect and utmost hatred;
They have become my enemies.
Search me [thoroughly], O God, and know my heart;
Test me and know my anxious thoughts; 24
And see if there is any wicked or hurtful way in me,
And lead me in the everlasting way.
What are some helpful ways to reduce anxiety?
Taking a deep breath in and out
Meditating on worship music
Sometimes medicine, along with everything lifted above.
I pray that you have heard something here today that has
When we think of separation, it brings up pain and sadness. However, when we are separated for the cause of Christ, it changes everything. For to live is Christ, and to die is gain. We have the Father’s love to guide us as we run our race of endurance.
Episode 18: Hearing God’s Voice in the Midst of Chaos Healing Our Brokenness Podcast Seri...
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There are a lot of voices that we hear on a daily basis. However, discerning the voice of God becomes the most important one that we need to focus on. Do we know what to look for? Is it the same voice for everyone? These questions and more will be answered in this week’s episode: Hearing God’s Voice in the Midst of Chaos.
How to Know It’s God
How God Speaks to Me
Truths on Hearing God’s Voice
Samuel and the Voice of God
Part #1 Hearing God’s Voice
Good afternoon! Welcome to Valley of Grace’s Healing Our Brokenness Podcast! Today we are on episode 18, entitled, Hearing God’s Voice in the Midst of Chaos. When we think about hearing God, we often associate it with the Ten Commandments movie where God spoke to Moses on the mountain. Sometimes God is just that powerful. However, often hearing God can come in the small, subtle, or least grand ways than we expect.
So, the question
that you all are probably asking is, “Well, if it is small, how will I know?”
We do three
We slow down enough to hear him. If we aren’t slowed down enough, we won’t hear God, or gain clarity on anything else that is going on.
We pray and ask God to help us to become discerning in regard to noticing his voice.
WE look for God to speak to us in themes or patterns. This can be via sermons at church, small groups and bible studies, therapy, or via inner circle advice.
Part #2 Hearing God’s Voice
I have realized
for myself that God speaks to me through my work. Since I read and listen to a lot of blogs,
articles, podcasts, and sermons, God will have them to center around a certain
theme for me to understand that it is something that I need to work on.
speaks to me in dreams to prepare me. I
have heard others say that God doesn’t speak to other people in dreams as in
biblical times. I beg to differ. God knows each and everyone of us by name, the
number of the strands of hair that is on our heads, and the names of all the stars. I believe that God will use whatever means
necessary for us to know that it is him.
A few years
ago, after going through a horrific divorce, I longed to see my dad who I hadn’t
been in contact with for a while. I
searched for him, and unfortunately, came to a dead end. About two weeks later, I had a dream that I
was with him on the bus in Chicago, and he was wearing the leather jacket that
he often wore when I was a kid. I looked
down at his shoes and pants, and I realized that he had the appearance of not
keeping himself up. So, in the dream, I pondered
over asking him if he was homeless, but I was afraid to ask. I woke up, wondering what this all
meant. Less than a week later, my dad
got on the bus that a family friend was driving, and he was able to connect
with my aunt who brought him to my house.
The sight of
him nearly made me fall to the ground.
He had indeed hit hard times and was homeless for a period of nine
months. God has given me a lot of
situations like this to speak to me.
other instances, I thought that it was me being strong-willed/lazy in regard to
something that someone else wanted me to do with them. I am not a strong-willed person. However, I am human, and a sinner. And like all of us broken individuals, there
are things that we know that we should do, but don’t feel like doing, and we fuss
and go on and do it. I thought this was
the case in about three situations, then I realized my whole will had changed because
God was trying to tell me that it is something that I shouldn’t be doing.
It took a
while to see the pattern. They weren’t
bad things. They were things that I had already
dealt with in my healing. There was
literally a pulling in my chest, and a feeling in my spirit that said, “No! This is not for you.” I was surprised because one time I had
planned to write a certain devotion, and I felt God’s Spirit telling me, “No!”. I decided to write on a different topic that
night: Handpicked by God. As I was riding
in the car the following morning, I received confirmation that I made the right
choice by getting a 3-minute clip on a Bible Teacher’s message. It coincided with the new devotion. The words that came out of her mouth were
almost verbatim to what I had said in my devotion. I choked up with tears. What I thought was simplicity was God
exemplifying that he is a God of order.
God can also
have us to sense things in our spirit that something is wrong when we talk to
people. Their emotions and psychological
dysfunctions can enter our emotional, psychological, and spiritual space. Sometimes it takes a while to figure this out. We are usually able to detect this in
patterns after a while.
A few months
ago, I had the feeling that my confidence had been stripped away. This was due to the trauma and the cycle of
shame that revolved around it. Even if
there were things that I knew how to do, I would get afraid of not being able
to do them. This is indeed a problem
with trauma, where you can forget how to do certain things temporarily at any
point and time. However, it isn’t often
that it happens. And I realized just
recently, that Satan was using this fact to create low confidence in everything
that I did. Right around the time that
revelation hit, I had three different instances of God speaking to me in regard
to this confidence.
one included a conversation with someone that I met who was able to discern
this. The second conversation was from
someone wishing me a happy birthday, and then stating that 2019 would be the year
of confidence for me. The third time was
reading a book, and having a specific chapter speak on self-confidence, the importance
of it, and how to lean into God’s love to get it. For some reason, I had never thought about
praying for confidence.
some Truths that we can meditate on when it comes to Hearing from God in the
Midst of Chaos
Being too busy will miss out on hearing God’s voice.
If we are limited to our way, we will miss out on hearing God’s voice.
The failure to act in obedience in the small window of time that God gives us in emergency situations may hinder us from hearing God’s voice.
When we fail to act on God’s instructions to share what he has placed in our heart with someone else, we miss the opportunity to bless someone.
When we fail to act on God’s instructions to share what he has placed in our heart with someone else, we also miss the opportunity of bringing possible correction or rebuke to that person on an issue that God was already trying to show them.
Part #3 Hearing God’s Voice
Samuel learned to identify God’s voice. And unfortunately, he had some sad news to give to Eli, who had neglected his duties as the person in charge of the temple in 1 Samuel 3:
And the child Samuel
ministered unto the LORD before Eli. And the word of the LORD was precious in
those days; there
was no open vision.
And it came to pass at that time, when Eli was
laid down in his place, and his eyes began to wax dim, that
he could not see;
And ere the lamp of God went out in the temple of the LORD, where
the ark of God was,
and Samuel was laid down to
That the LORD called Samuel: and he answered, Here am I.
And he ran unto Eli, and said, Here am
I; for thou calledst me. And he said, I called not; lie down again. And he went
and lay down.
And the LORD called yet again, Samuel. And Samuel arose and went
to Eli, and said, Here am
I; for thou didst call me. And he answered, I called not, my son; lie down
Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, neither was the word of the
LORD yet revealed unto him.
And the LORD called Samuel again the third time. And he arose and
went to Eli, and said, Here am
I; for thou didst call me. And Eli perceived that the LORD had called the
Therefore Eli said unto Samuel, Go, lie down: and it shall be, if
he call thee, that thou shalt say, Speak, LORD; for thy servant heareth. So
Samuel went and lay down in his place.
And the LORD came, and stood, and called as at other times,
Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth.
And the LORD said to Samuel, Behold, I will do a thing in Israel,
at which both the ears of every one that heareth it shall tingle.
In that day I will perform against Eli all things
which I have spoken concerning his house: when I begin, I will also make an
For I have told him that I will judge his house for ever for the
iniquity which he knoweth; because his sons made themselves vile, and he
restrained them not.
And therefore I have sworn unto the house of Eli, that the
iniquity of Eli’s house shall not be purged with sacrifice nor offering for
And Samuel lay until the morning, and opened the doors of the
house of the LORD. And Samuel feared to shew Eli the vision.
Then Eli called Samuel, and said, Samuel, my son. And he answered,
Here am I.
And he said, What is
the thing that the
LORD hath said unto thee? I pray thee hide it
not from me: God do so to thee, and more also, if thou hide any thing from me
of all the things that he said unto thee.
And Samuel told him every whit, and hid nothing from him. And he
said, It is
the LORD: let him do what seemeth him good.
And Samuel grew, and the LORD was with him, and did let none of
his words fall to the ground.
And all Israel from Dan even to Beersheba knew that Samuel was established to be a prophet of
I have had situations where I felt God speaking to me about sharing with someone in regard to my own person struggles. However, I allowed my own shame, and the worry about other peoples’ perception of me get in the way of obedience. There have been other times that I was more afraid of ugly face crying and losing control in the process of vulnerability rather than the obedience itself. I had to speak truth to myself about this. It is sin. I am calling it what it is. When we know to do good, and we don’t do it, it is flat out sin. I hope that you have enjoyed our episode of Hearing from God in the midst of Chaos. God bless, and until next time.
“And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; [but] the LORD [was] not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; [but] the LORD [was] not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; [but] the LORD [was] not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. And it was [so], when Elijah heard [it], that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, [there came] a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah?” 1 Kings 19:11-13
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you. Be not like a horse or a mule, without understanding, which must be curbed with bit and bridle, or it will not stay near you. Psalm 32:8-9
Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known. Jeremiah 33:3
It’s hard to trust. It doesn’t matter whether it is in marriages, friendships, or in our relationship with God. The difference about our trust in God is that he will never let us down. Either our answer will be something that is or isn’t in his will. He is our constant!