Permission to Dominate

Calling the shots, running the show. Who’s the boss? If you’re anything like me, you’ve realised with some age and experience, there are very few things over which you truly have control. You might oversee, manage, direct, lead. But ultimate power over your life is fleeting, an out of reach mirage.

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I used to live under the delusion that being fun, attentive, engaging, and kind would govern how much and how many people liked me. The more amazing I was, would surely hold sway over people, forcing them to fancy me.

That’s a hallucination totally not worth the striving.

Worrying what people think of me to the effect of second guessing my decisions used to be a way of life.  Tethered to this issue of control, as if I could create a world where no one would disagree with me. What an illusion!

I’ve had struggles with control my whole life as they relate to an outward fixation on my environment or other people.

Thank God, I’ve found ONE area where I can give full vent to my desire to dominate – the elixir to my insatiable need to be in charge. Imagine, it’s right here with me, in my own possession, accessible 24/7, and ready to be put to use at my beck and call. It’s TOTALLY and utterly subjected to whatever I decide.

You have one too. It’s free of charge and comes with euphoric endorphins that make you feel high on life: your and my “Attitude of Gratitude” has been there all along, lying dormant at times but easily awakened. Just look up from your pain, your frustration, your stress. Thankfulness has the power to change your perspective and shift the atmosphere in your home.

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My Thankfulness Journal, where I document 3 things for which I’m grateful each day. Why not join me and let’s swap stories on its effect?

When I give thanks for the people around me, I suddenly have grace for their mistakes. Praising myself (instead of self-loathing) for working out or eating well, causes my reflection in the mirror to suddenly shine brighter. Words of blessing upon my children for their uniqueness diminish my frustration at their non-cooperation. A Thank You note to my husband helps cross out that list of wrongs I thought about keeping. Praise for my cute yellow house and its great entertaining space makes me less upset about how small it is.

What a powerful feeling – taking control of something so important, so life-giving, and so necessary. What would happen if we all acknowledged this untapped potential we have inside, utter reliance on something as firm and unwavering as gratitude? How might our days differentiate themselves when they find themselves full of fondness?

To look heavenward each day, governed by the Spirit of God who loves us and has our best interests at heart should be our aim. Dominate that space.

“And cultivate thankfulness. Let the Word of Christ—the Message—have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way” (Colossians 3:16-17 MSG).

 

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2015 Fasting Devotion, Day SEVEN

Read Colossians 3:1-17

(Today’s post submitted by Paul O’Rourke.)

Paul is reminding us that we are different as a result of our relationship with Jesus. We now must follow our convictions instead of caving in to feelings (our hearts), setting our minds on things above, not earthly desires. We put to death the useless behaviours of the earthy nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. These were our default settings along with anger, rage, malice, slander and filthy language.

We must renew our minds, making our emotions subject to our minds rather than the other way around. Inner turmoil, a lack of peace, and confusion often stem from a conflicted mind. We want to hear God’s voice and know His will, but are still living in the ways of the old nature.

We may be holding on to unforgiveness and bitterness, and allowing jealousy, envy, anger and lust to pervade our thoughts. In short, we haven’t set our hearts and minds on the things above.

Today, as we continue to fast and pray, let us make a concentrated effort to set our hearts and minds on things above, thinking on things that are true, noble, right and pure, lovely and admirable, excellent and praiseworthy. There will be evidence of our new ownership: compassion, kindness, gentleness, humility and patience. We are to forgive and to love.

Dear Lord Jesus, I make up my mind to choose the things above at the expense of the things below. I ask you to forgive me for the areas where I have fallen short. Holy Spirit, show me which characteristics of the old nature are impeding my progress and robbing me of joy and peace so that I may walk in the fullness of what you have for me. Thank you for your faithfulness. In Jesus’ mighty name, Amen.