Check Engine Pt. 2
Last week we discussed how we all have check-engine lights and how to identify them. Anytime our internal or external response to a situation is excessive there is a strong tendency that we have a check-engine light in that area. It doesn’t tell us what the problem is, only that there is one. And much like the light that goes off in our car, we have a choice as to what to do with it. When we respond to it we prevent further damage to the car. When we ignore it chances are we are making things worse. It’s your choice how you choose to respond.
Our Heavenly Father is gracious in that he reveals these things to us so that we can get them fixed. No it’s never pleasant to hear something is broken, but with time and relationship with Him you will find that the light itself doesn’t have to be so painful. Once you have a running history of His “repair jobs” you may even begin to look forward to the “tune ups”. Why? Because each time you take your car into the shop you get an “Upgrade” and extra freedom. It’s like going to a chiropractor after being in serious pain for years. Yes, you may experience some pain when on the doctor’s table, but the freedom that comes afterwards is glorious!
I’ve found this to be true in my own walk. When my Heavenly Father gives me tune ups there may be a small amount of brief pain but what comes afterwards is awesome, wonderful freedom. Don’t you want that in your life? Or would you prefer to be the overreacting person that everyone looks at oddly? Seriously, how is that working out for you? Ok, so let’s take your car into the shop.
In life when the Holy Spirit has revealed that there is a check-engine light. Follow these steps.
1. Start a prayer dialog with the Lord...
2. Identify the emotion. If you say anger then you have to go deeper. Anger is a secondary emotion. Maybe you feel fearful. Maybe you feel rejected. Perhaps it is sorrow. Those are a good start in diagnosing the problem. (Just keep in mind this is a prayerful dialog with the Holy Spirit about what is going on.)
3. Ask the Lord to reveal if this is the first time you’ve felt this way about something. Focus on the feeling. Have you felt rejected before? How about this kind of fear? Chances are the answer is yes, in likely it is in a different circumstance. Great! Follow the emotional “smoke trail” back as far as you can remember. Keep asking the Lord, “Is this the first time I felt this way?” Don’t be surprised if it goes all the way back to your childhood.
4. At the earliest memory, ask the Lord to reveal what you were believing, both about yourself and your circumstances. This is where the lie is often rooted. It’s the reason why we overreact. For all these years, through all these repeat circumstances this belief (which is often a lie) has held ground in our lives. It’s why a paper cut feels like an amputated limb. History has taught our minds and hearts to feel this specific kind of pain more and more deeply. So you’re not crazy, your just hyper-sensitive in this area.
5. And this is the freeing part. Ask the Lord what the truth is. The truth will decimate the lie and bring freedom. To the point at which you agree with God about the truth is the extent of which you will find freedom. When He says something it changes things. Often times when a person goes through all these steps and God tells them the truth there is almost a physical weight that is lifted. When you ask them about the original “check-engine light” the pain is gone and they don’t have the same response to it. How cool is that!
For some of us we can walk through those 5 steps and resolve a lot of check-engine lights just between us and the Lord. For others we are so hurting that we really need one or two other people to join us for the discussion. This is normal. Think about it, how many of us can perform First-Aid on ourselves when we’re badly hurt. Some of us can, others would pass-out. If you’re a fainter, get help! Call in a few faithful friends to pray through this with you. Or, find a prayer team that knows how to work with heart issues. There are some great people out there who do this as their full-time ministry. Either way, you can turn Check-engine lights into beautiful blessings by taking them into the shop “meeting with Jesus” and getting them worked on. You’ll get a “new car” out of it.
Father I ask that you show me who I can walk with in these sensitive areas of my life. I ask that you increase my ability to hear and discern you and I ask that you bring healing and freedom in these sore areas of my heart and mind. I thank you for having a solution and for being in charge of my healing journey. I thank you that you don’t want me to live my life in pain and brokenness, but instead you’ve come that I would live my life to the fullest, to have your abundant life. Thank you Jesus. Draw me in close to you. Amen.