Locked: Do You Still Have The Message?

In high school, not very long ago mind you, there weren’t many smart phones out. In the area I grew up in, your parents were doing pretty well if you had one. Instead, the bulk of us had those cheap, prepaid flip phones. You know the ones you got at Walmart. They were blue, the more expensive ones were silver. About 96% of us, who had phones, had one of these.

What I remember most about these phones is something that I don’t even think my iPhone 8 has the ability to do. In the text messages of these flip phones, there was the capability to “lock” a text. Locking a text ensured that that text couldn’t be easily deleted, and it would stay on your phone until you decided you wanted to unlock, and delete it. This was probably the equivalent to what we call today a “screenshot”. Locking the text enabled you to always have that text for your records.

When you’re in troubled, struggling, depressed, mad, exhausted, do you have records? In the text thread of your own understanding have you locked away valuable verses that you can read or say?

For me, text messages can do a lot. I try to use this positively. I like to savor things. Especially those sweet, caring text that my boyfriend sends. Or those meaningful conversations I have with him, a friend, or a family member. Being realistic, when I am discouraged, or confused, I can easily look at a screenshot of a message my boyfriend has sent that encourages me, or makes me feel better about what I’m doing. Maybe its a girl thing. Maybe its a me thing. I’m not sure, but  hopefully you get my point.

So when you need that something extra, and God’s voice isn’t becoming apparent quick enough, or you don’t have that experience of feeling of His presence quickly enough, what do you do? Keeping a mental note of scriptures that pertain to the thing you go through is important. In those times, that’s where you find your encouragement. That’s where you pull your arsenal from to fight the enemy when he thinks he is catching you off guard. Write things down as God speaks to you. I keep a notebook that I use when I pray, so when God speaks, I’m ready to write it down. So when the enemy throws something my way I remember “no, God you said this was going to happen and I know Your Word won’t return to you void.”

Take the time as you begin to form the habit of reading and praying more, try to retain as much as possible. Be aware of the voice of God, and “lock in” those revelations He shares with you, this is how you will be able to encourage yourself when it “feels” like God is far away.

Good Spiritual Hygiene!

Did you wash your face? Brush your teeth? Take a shower? With soap?

We can all hear our parents asking our kid selves these questions. As parents, from early on we try to teach our kids about good personal hygiene. Why? Hygiene is important!! It can make or break an initial impression or relationship. Nobody wants to be around the kid who smells bad, or who has bad breath right? Don’t you hate when your boss start looking over your shoulder at your computer screen and you can smell the coffee they drank 4 hours ago still on their breath? Or that customer that you didn’t give your best effort to because you were so distracted by their smell?

We’ve all been there. We have (hopefully) developed great hygiene routines throughout our lives and have found the perfect products and order that things need to occur for us to look, feel, and SMELL, our best! But what about your SPIRITUAL hygiene? How do you smell to God?

Personally, I shower first then brush my teeth (sometimes I brush them in the shower). But either way is fine, it’s just personal preference. But when talking about how you smell to God, the first thing you want to do is:

SHOWER: The purpose of a shower is to wash away all of the dirt, bacteria, grime, and even stress of whatever has built up on you throughout the day (or night). Here in the good old Americas, its typically done with a rag, soap, hot water. All products to ensure maximum cleanliness. So how do you shower before God? A spiritual shower is easy, when its genuine. The shower consists of simply asking forgiveness of all the sins or distractions that may have separated you from God. I must stress here that this NEEDS to be genuine, otherwise its like running the water over your body for a few minutes without the soap or rag. Sure you got wet, but were you cleaned? Asking forgiveness ensure automatic and optimal cleanliness before God.

So, you’ve showered. now:

Brush Your Teeth: As the shower is the purpose of cleaning the whole body, the method of tooth brushing cleans something that can only be done with a toothbrush and a special cleaning solution designed to fight the bacteria that you can’t see from the outside of your body. How do you brush your teeth spiritually? Brush up with your Word. Take an average of about 12 minutes a day just to get into the Word of God. Allow His Word to reach the places that may not have gotten through the shower. Learn more about anger and jealousy. Learn about relationships and good characteristics of a noble man or woman of God.

Shower (Check). Teeth Cleaned (Check).

Shave: While most men don’t typically shave, majority of women do. Many different areas of the body are shaved as well. Some large regions, some small. So what’s the purpose? It looks better. It feels better. And SOMETIMES, it can even DECREASE the level of bad bacteria introduced into your life. Now this is the part of Spiritual Hygiene that may come natural and easy in some regions, but may require a little more work and time in others. Here it goes: Remove those unwanted people, scenarios, conversations, and habits that don’t feel good to your spirit, don’t look good for your spirit, and are introducing a plethora of bad bacteria into your life! Easier said than done. But some things just need to be CUT OFF!

Okay. So we have cleaned all the areas in our spirit that need to be cleaned. Now is the part most people enjoy the most (at least I do). SMELLING GOOD!

The greatest evidence of your cleanliness is the way you smell once it’s all done. Sure it’s taken 45 minutes to get to this point, but before you walk out of the house, you want to make sure people know you took care of yourself! Now, to smell my best, I typically apply a lotion, a body mist, deodorant (don’t skip this step), and when I’m feeling fancy a perfume. The key to it though, is layering scents. I don’t use the same scent of lotion as body mist or perfume. I use different scents that compliment one another. So how do you apply like products to your spirit and layer scents when it comes to God?

Praise and Worship HimYou’ve spent all this time adjusting your flesh to the demands of your spirit in order to be pleasing to Him. What’s more pleasing than showing your love and adoration through a song, a dance, a shout, a cry, a run, or through whatever method you show this love? Thank God. Worship Him. Take the time out to just talk to Him. Let Him know He is on your mind. I know that sounds simple, and your still wandering how to layer the scents of praise and worship right. Do these things in ALL circumstances. Don’t just do it when you’ve gotten the breakthrough you were waiting on or the promotion came early, do it when you don’t have a dime to your name and your kids just won’t act right. Don’t just do it when you’re happy, but do it when you’re sad, lonely, and depressed. Layer the praise and worship with applying it in any and all circumstances!

Now. Depending on how many times I have hit the snooze button, it takes me about 30 minutes to an hour to finish my whole hygiene routine, DAILY. It’s not a thing that’s accomplished quickly (when done the way I know is right for me), nor is done on an inconsistent basis. So now that you know how you can improve areas of your spiritual hygiene, do it consistently to contribute to your overall Spiritual Health! 🙂