He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm, and He guided them to their desired haven. -Psalm 107:29-30
In my house there is an unspoken rule that my family has been forced to deal with since I began writing. The rule is simple: Anything you say can and may be used by me in some article somewhere at some time. It could be anything from a simple comment about chewing gum to an intense discussion about extreme sports. Unless someone in my family specifically states “Hey, you can’t use this!” whatever I consider spiritually insightful, is up for grabs.
My husband has been forced to succumb to this rule a number of times and most recently suggested that he should receive financial royalties of some sort for all of his good comments used in my articles. Naturally, I had to show him the “wife’s fine print in a marriage contract” that says, what’s mine is mine and what’s yours is mine, including your great comments. I’m still not sure if he understands the concept yet but until he does, let me tell you something insightful he said the other day.
I was washing dishes in the kitchen when he made mention of a karate system I was unfamiliar with called Choy Li Fut (also spelled Choy Lay Fut, and Choi Lee Fut). Choy Li Fut is a combination of various Chinese martial art styles and was developed in 1836 by a man named Chan Heung. While this particular style of karate is an excellent self-defense system with a variety of techniques, such as long and short range punches, kicks, sweeps, takedowns, joint locks, and grappling, the reason it caught my attention wasn’t because of the physical benefits but for the spiritual revelation I received as my husband talked about it.
In Choy Li Fut when two opponents have their arms up and wrists touching, each one tries to feel the movement of the other’s wrist in order to anticipate the direction they will be headed next. The success of the technique depends upon on ones reflexes and also upon the ability to push out all other distractions in order to sense the slightest movement in the wrist of the opponent. It takes a great deal of patience and practice to master this but when done correctly, the one least distracted and most tuned in to the others movement, will have the greatest victory.
Before my husband could even finish his explanation I could see the spiritual relevance and was already writing an article in my mind that would explain how believers need to be tuned into the movement of the Holy Spirit, just like a Choy Li Fut master. I had the article ready to go in my head but then a strange thing happened. (Doesn’t it always?) Every time I sat down to write about the great spiritual understanding I received from my husbands comment, I couldn’t get the words out. It wasn’t just writer’s block it was something else but I couldn’t put my finger on it. I must have tried writing the article six different times but each time I walked away from a blank page frustrated. The more I tried the more unsettled my spirit became until I finally asked God, “What’s up? Why can’t I write this?” And darn it, don’t you know that God revealed the answer and I didn’t like it one bit.
I was anxious to write about the need to clear our minds from all of life’s distractions in order to be tuned in to God. I wanted to share how doing so would help us feel the movement, leading, and perfect guidance of the Holy Spirit, but then I realized that my own mind wasn’t all that clear and that I hadn’t been very tuned into what the Holy Spirit had been trying to tell me lately. Drats! God wasn’t going to let me just write about it, He wanted me to apply it.
Clearing our minds from life’s trials and distractions in order to hear the still small voice of the Holy Spirit leading on a daily basis is a tremendous challenge. While many Christians understand the relevance of this principle, at the same time they struggle to apply it. Fortunately, despite the struggle, there is hope.
Throughout the Bible God gives specific promises that remind us, as we seek Him we will find Him, when we ask for guidance He will give it, and when we need peace He will bring it. The promises of God is our hope. His promises have the ability to calm the storms in our lives and settle the raging challenges that we all face.
God didn’t free me up to write my great Choy Li Fut revelation article until I remembered I needed to apply it to my own life. He also wanted to remind me that He doesn’t expect us to master this principle of pushing out and tuning in, He simple wants us to purposely make effort every day to focus our hearts, minds and souls on Him. When we choose to fill our thoughts with His promises, the many distractions that normally crowd our minds will have no other choice but to move over and move out. When that happens, the voice of His Holy Spirit will have enough room to speak to our hearts and in turn we can follow His lead. How do I know? I applied it and now I’m writing the devotion God wanted me to write all along.
Some days we will be better at pushing out and tuning it then others but as long as we are sincerely trying to tune into our Master, we will have victory.