Day 6 – Discerning Inner Movements
Brother Lawrence said that “we must watch over all the movements of the soul, since it can become entangled in spiritual things as well as in the most base.”
Some attitudes, thoughts, feelings, actions, and motives move us closer to God. Some attitudes, thoughts, feelings, actions, and motives move us away from God.
Reading the Bible, praying, participating in worship services, grieving over sin, thinking about Jesus and the cross, doing justice, serving people – all these and more can stir our hearts toward God.
As we respond to “movements of the soul” that draw us closer to God, we feel spiritually alive – enabled to love God and others freely and do what God wants. Centered in Christ, we’re full of confidence in God and at peace within.
In contrast, other “movements of the soul” stir us up and push us away from God – temptations, evil thoughts, sinful tendencies, selfish desires, bad attitudes, harsh words, controlling ways.
When we give into these movements, we feel spiritually entangled (Hebrews 12:1), guilty (Psalm 32:5), and shamed (Genesis 3:8). Centered in ourselves, we’re full of pride, anxious within, and God seems absent.
Another “movement of the soul” appears negative, but is really positive. God allows trials and tribulations and testings to come our way. These are meant to purify us, deepen our love for God, and lead us into spiritual maturity (James 1:2-4). Yet we often resist these as enemies, rather than welcome them as friends.
My point along with Brother Lawrence: Learn to read the inner movements of your soul – attitudes, thoughts, feelings, actions, and motives. Is this drawing you closer to God or drawing you away from God? Respond well: Say yes. Say no.
Learning which movements we can trust and follow, and which movements we are not to trust but oppose, takes discernment.
God will teach you and help you “turn from evil and do good” (Psalm 34:14): Follow Jesus. Obey God’s Word. Repent over sins. Deny yourself. Count it all joy. Grow in grace.
Anything that moves you away from God or in opposition to God resist and set aside. Say no. Anything that moves you closer to God or in surrender to God welcome and embrace. Say yes.
Action Step: Ask yourself – does this attitude, thought, feeling, action, motive draw me closer to God or away from God?
This is God’s Word for you today,