Hula Hoops – A Devotion

Girl Playing with Hula Hoop

John 14:27-29 (NLT)

“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. Remember what I told you: I am going away, but I will come back to you again. If you really loved me, you would be happy that I am going to the Father, who is greater than I am. I have told you these things before they happen so that when they do happen, you will believe.

 

How ironic that in this season of gift giving and thoughtfulness that we lack the peace of mind and heart that Jesus Christ left us with? The world cannot and will not ever give us the peace that Jesus died for us to have and live in every single day of our life. If we could see peace, it would be like a hula hoop laying on the ground at our feet. We decide if we will stand in that place or if we choose to walk around it. I often joke about personal space being the same three-foot circle around us. One tends to get uncomfortable if certain people get too close and invade the secure perimeter. We must learn to protect our peace of mind as we do our personal space. If a person violates my personal space, I may take a step back to reestablish this “protective barrier”. We choose who we allow to come into intimate contact with us and anyone who does not respect it becomes an intruder. Our peace of mind belongs to us. It is given to every man and woman who asks Jesus Christ to be their Savior and Lord.

I Corinthians 2:15-16 (NLT)
Those who are spiritual can evaluate all things, but they themselves cannot be evaluated by others. For, “Who can know the Lord’s thoughts? Who knows enough to teach him?”

But we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ.

 

We understand spiritual things because we have the Mind of Jesus Christ. Let’s think about that for a minute. Jesus knew that He was the Son of God. Do you? He knew that this was a temporary situation. Jesus knew that once His Mission was fulfilled on the earth that He would live forever with God. Do you? Jesus Christ looked at life from a totally different perspective than humanity. Do you? We have the ability to evaluate life from a spiritual perspective. We have the Word of God. We have the Spirit of God. We have the Spirit and Truth so we can worship the Lord no matter what we are facing in our natural life because our spirit is secure in the hula hoop of peace that was placed around us when we received salvation from our sin and stepped into the Righteousness of God through Jesus Christ. We must strive to change our mind. Shifting gears from natural thinking to spiritual thinking is not always so easy. We are born with a carnal mind given to our sinful nature. As we develop an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ, we allow Him access to our innermost thoughts and desires. He gets in our personal space and begins establishing us with faith, hope and love.

Psalm 84:5-6 (NLT)

What joy for those whose strength comes from the Lord, who have set their minds on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. When they walk through the Valley of Weeping, it will become a place of refreshing springs. The autumn rains will clothe it with blessings.

Yesterday, I spoke to a Practical Nursing class at the technical school where I work. An instructor asked me to share our son’s journey with them before they visited the local cancer center. I said, “Yes!” But within moments, wondered what in the world I was thinking. I am glad that we have made by the Grace and Goodness of God but it is indeed a “Valley of Weeping”. Well, true to the Word of God it gave way to a place of refreshing. Sometimes, we must remind ourselves how far we come to see the point in continuing our journey. It has not been easy since my return. Our son is doing well but other factors in our life have adequately filled the busyness and aggravation void left from the fight. As I shared with the roomful of soon-to-be caregivers, it was clear that some got it while others were too wrapped up in finishing the semester, getting ready for Christmas or really had no interest in our life story. But there were a handful that our little talk hit home to. We discussed the medical journey, as well as the mind’s trek – but I had to give God some glory. As I laid out my life, I became overwhelmed all over again at just how good God is to me. How His Love seems to be the thing that I come back to over and over again? I took a step…back into the peace that had been eluding me. The enemy will hand you as many worries, cares and anxieties as you are willing to accept but if your hands are raised in surrender and praise to God then he has nowhere to put them.

Matthew 5:44-45 (NLT)

But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.

 

Our justice is Jesus Christ. If we take hold of this concept and write it on our heart, we will one day get over the fact that life is not fair. Say it again with me, “Life is not fair.” But we will be justified in our relationship with Jesus Christ. He gives us right standing with God that allows us to step out of our situation spiritually and expect supernatural outcomes even if our circumstances do not change. Unjust people even those who are in leadership will gang up on the righteous in their perception of weakness (Psalm 94:20-23), but in such an instance we are strong because greater is He who lives in us than he who is in the world. (I John 4:4) Your God is greater! Your Dad is bigger! You just have to gain confidence that He is for you not against you and will always come to your aid and protection. He is working for us! He is making good out of every detail in our life. (Romans 8:28) The Lord is perfecting all that concerns us. (Psalm 138:8) You don’t have to convince the enemy of that or even those you consider to be so on the earth – we must only convince ourselves. In our confidence is a hope that secures us in faith until we see the blessings, promises and prosperity of God fill our life.

Psalm 64:5-6 (NLT)

They encourage each other to do evil and plan how to set their traps in secret. “Who will ever notice?” they ask. As they plot their crimes, they say, “We have devised the perfect plan!” Yes, the human heart and mind are cunning.

 

In the words of my girl, Taylor Swift, ”the haters gonna hate!” It’s a fact! “Not everyone will celebrate you. In fact, very few will see the true potential in you or the purpose that God has for you. Why? It’s a secret. He isn’t necessarily going to let anyone else in on it until you are down with it first. The enemy wants to steal our blessings and kill our dreams. He works to discover what God is trying to accomplish in us and stop it on the spot. That is why it is so important to protect the peace of mind that we have with the Mind of Christ. We must stand against the enemy. But it is hard when he takes on the image of people we know and even some we don’t know who come against us in life. They are not the adversary. We are not fighting flesh and blood. If we begin to accept that some people are just not going to like us, love us or even tolerate us but continue to walk in love towards everyone we stay in the realm of hope that allows us to live peacefully with a secure heart and mind fixed on His Love alone. If we need the acceptance or affirmation of anyone else more than Christ, there is a breach in our perimeter that must be fixed. Somehow we have accepted the lie of the enemy that anyone else could possibly do more for us than Jesus – it’s a lie. In fact, you will find that you have less opposition in life walking in humility and submission as Christ did. If we allow our peace to be compromised, we will be convinced of many untruths. We must protect our peace above all else. Our peace is in the Love of God demonstrated by Jesus on the Cross. Laying down His Life, so I could pick up a “hula hoop” of peace and live in it.

Psalm 119:94-96 (NLT)

I am yours; rescue me! For I have worked hard at obeying your commandments. Though the wicked hide along the way to kill me, I will quietly keep my mind on your laws. Even perfection has its limits, but your commands have no limit.

I am a very transparent person. I have trouble keeping things pent up on the inside and tend to be very vocal. Big shocker for those who endure life with me. I do not do well with elephants in the middle of the room or things swept underneath the carpet as I am a lay it all on the table kind of girl. Reading this verse, I saw something for the first time that struck home. “I will quietly keep my mind on your laws.” We tend to read the stuff we like first. Like, “I have worked hard at obeying…” Nothing like a little validation, right? Or even “your commands have no limit”, we really like the good part. It’s the little things like patience and self-control that are the sticklers that we try to step over to get where we are going. Well, sorry it doesn’t work that way because I have tried. We must do it all to make it work. I must “quietly keep my mind”. What are you saying about your situation? What are you complaining about? What has got you so mad that you are venting? Words hold power in our life especially as believers. After all, we have the power of life and death in our tongue and to call those things that are not as though they were. Is it time to put our genie in a bottle? Bridle our tongue and bring it under the authority of Jesus Christ? We may be our own worst enemy and not even know it. We pray for God’s Grace and Glory to fill our life with His Love, Joy and Peace spraying venom on the seeds of righteousness and killing our harvest before it ever prospers. If I belong to Jesus Christ and truly believe, I must learn to quietly keep my mind fixed on the things that He told me to and stop worrying, stressing, mulling over the things God is still working on but choose quiet confidence as my platform of peace. I belong to God. I am a servant of Jesus Christ. They have assumed full responsibility for my life. Grumbling and complaining only means that I am not satisfied with our arrangements.

Psalm 119:169 (NLT) O Lord, listen to my cry; give me the discerning mind you promised.

 

Ask the Lord today to give you a discerning mind. He will do just what you ask. Read the Word of God to find the Way of God back to the peace that He has promised you. Step into the Presence of God that is our refuge of peace and fortify the boundaries of the heart and mind not allowing the enemy to invade your personal space. Faith and confident hope force him back from you. It is a solid position that is unaffected by the storms of life or any situation because the peace that passes all understanding belongs to you. It is your birthright! You are a Child of God. A Son or Daughter of the King. Everything you need has already been provide. Your Way was perfected by Jesus Christ. Walk in it today. Step into the Peace of God and fight to remain there. All you have to do is accept it! Tell the enemy to get out of your hula hoop today!

Philippians 4:6-8 (NLT)

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

 

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