Emotional Tanks

When my children were in high school, I created a poster with an emotional tank for each member of our family. The object was for each of us to signify how full our emotional tank was each day.

This way we could all deposit into one another’s tank, especially into those who were running low. Well, my idea bombed with my family, but I am hoping you might like this idea.

To add to someone’s emotional tank, we need to know them well, learn what is important to them, and then converse with them and provide for them according to their love language. (www.5lovelanguages.com )

Pay attention to the words they use and listen between the lines. Never belittle their ideas, hope or dreams. Deposit daily encouragement into their emotional tank and inspire them to follow God’s plan for their day.

Deposit your time, energy, understanding and godly wisdom into their emotional tank. Be there for one another and be patient and kind to one another.

Build a foundation of trust in your family. Love depends upon trust; and when trust is broken, it is hard to feel love. Keep promises, tell the truth, and be a person of integrity.

Admit when you are wrong, and deposit into their emotional tanks with sincere apologies and changed behavior. Love unconditionally so they will feel secure, safe and affirmed.

You may not agree with their behavior or choices, and you can discipline when necessary, but separate the person from their behavior and validate them as your special treasure.

Deposit second chances, change your focus, and utilize forgiveness in every breach of confidence. You do not need to be victimized, however; and you can establish boundaries, which are safe for everyone.

Interdependence is a well-adjusted relationship centered on God who dwells in the midst of us. Following the guidance of God’s Spirit moment by moment throughout the day will help us to deposit rather than to withdraw from one another’s emotional tank.

Prayer:
Father God, teach us to cooperate so that no one person makes all the sacrifices. Help us to accept one another for who we are and to request changes only when necessary for the peace of the household.

Remind us to enjoy one another’s company, to cherish our relationship, not to take anyone for granted and to value the priceless connection You have given to us all.

Thought for the Day:
Pray together, have family devotions, serve the community together, play together; but also give one another space to have time to pursue their own interests as you make daily deposits into one another’s emotional tank.

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God’s Plan for Us

God designed the earth with the exact atmosphere needed for our survival. He continues to keep the earth’s axis tilted so that we do not perish. He provides the ozone layer to protect us. He gives us the sun and moon for light and to grow plants, which provide us with oxygen and food to eat. God is our all in all (Ephesians 4:6).

He provides for us abundantly more than we could ever ask or think (Ephesians 3:20). His Spirit takes us through the stages of sanctification, and we die to our self and gradually gain God’s perspective and attitude. We stop dwelling on earthly matters and we focus instead on eternal issues. Realizing that Christ lives in us, we come to depend more on Him than on our human abilities or associates.

If we are willing, Christ will live out His life in and through us. We quickly repent of any sin and lay down any idol, which the Holy Spirit identifies in us. We relinquish our independence and self-centeredness, and start to focus on abiding in the will of God in the beauty of holiness (1 Chronicles 16:28-19). We function in the Body of Christ, His church, as individual members of one Body (1 Cor 12:12-27; Romans 12:4).

When we give in to the temptation to sin, we even have an advocate with our Father, the Lord Jesus Christ (1 John 2:1). When we confess our sins, God is quick to forgive us (1 John 1:9). With Christ in us, there is no reason to choose to sin (Isaiah 35:8; Colossians 1:27; Galatians 2:20). We have everything we need, including deep fulfillment in body, soul and spirit, through our relationship with Him.

Prayer:

Father God, You could save us from sin to serve You as a bond-servant until we pay off our sin debt to You. However, in Your mercy and grace, You make us Your children instead (Ephesians 1:4). All that You have is ours. We are co-heirs with Jesus of Your entire Kingdom (Romans 8:17; Galatians 4:4-7). Thank You for Your love and for appointing angels to minister to us even while we still live on this earth (Hebrews 1:14).

Thought for the Day:

God has an inheritance for us that will never weaken, spoil or expire. – 1 Peter 1:4

Complete Dependence on God

Even in the midst of the most chaotic of circumstances, Jesus is still as present with us as if we were sitting alone by an ocean or a wooded stream. He makes His presence real to us if we take time to seek Him. He helps us to walk in the supernatural realm rather than in human wisdom and strength. We will not fail, because His Spirit enables us to live in the will of God each moment of the day.

 

Union with Christ requires dependence. If we have an ounce of independence left in our nature, we will struggle. However, there is no need for self-incrimination and condemnation. With each struggle, we learn valuable lessons, which we avoid the next time we are in similar circumstances. We can call on God in our trouble and He will answer us and show us great and mighty things (Jeremiah 33:3).

 

Eventually, the power of Christ in us will overcome the issues in our flesh with which we struggle. We walk in victory over that pesky sin that defeated us for so long. Not because of power in our own strength to overcome it, but because of our complete dependence on Christ in us. Our faith cannot save us; only complete trust in our Father can save us.

 

In us, in our flesh, nothing good dwells (Romans 7:18). Apart from Christ, we can only fail. Facing our failings chases us into the waiting arms of our Father God. By faith in God’s faithfulness, we walk in His Spirit each moment of our day. Our union with Christ empowers us to live in harmony with Biblical standards. We abide in continual fellowship with the Trinity and the power of God.

 

Prayer:

Father God, humility comes once we recognize our helpless state without You. Help us to avoid wandering in the wilderness of sin and deprivation by immediately revealing our lost state to us. Help us to obey when Your Spirit tells us to cross over Jordan (Joshua 3:1-4:24). Remind us that without You living in us, we can do nothing (John 15:5); but because you abide in us, we can do anything You call us to do (Philippians 4:13).

 

Thought for the Day:

Don’t spend a moment of your life wandering in the wilderness of sin. Live, move and have your being in God’s Spirit and walk in the victory of Canaan’s rest and abundance.

– Acts 17:28; Hebrews 4:1-13

A Paradigm Shift

Prior to coming to Christ, we determined our daily routine by our priorities. We valued, worked toward and pursued anything that would assist us in reaching our goals. We developed these habits, day in and day out, living by our human reasoning and working to please our self and to secure our future. We focused on our success and make sure we came out on top (Romans 1:25; 2 Corinthians 5:15).

Our flesh formed habits as we trained our thoughts, attitudes, words and actions to respond and react in certain ways to the challenges and trials of life. We are used to living independently of any restraints or parameters on our behavior (Romans 8:7-8). We do good deeds for others, but we want the praise. However, when the Spirit of God comes into our life, He encourages us to entirely shift our mind-set.

This sets up a dichotomy in our life, which causes a tug-of-war within our soul. God wants us to put to death the carnal deeds of our flesh, so that we can live an abundant spiritual life (Romans 8:13-14). Yet, our flesh wants to maintain the status quo, so that we can retain control. The tie-breaker is God’s Spirit. He resurrects our spirit, which was formerly dead in sin (Ephesians 2:5).

Our spirit is Born Again and Spiritually alive (Colossians 3:3). Then, He crucifies our old nature with Christ, and we partake in the divine nature of Christ (2 Peter 1:4). The fruit of the Spirit replace our formal carnal character (Galatians 5:22-23). We no longer live independently, but in dependence on God’s love and will. Yet, some of the former traits, alien to God’s ways, still influence our thoughts, words and behavior.

Gradually, we experience a shift in our paradigm. As we lay down our independent and willful tendencies on a daily basis (Matthew 16:24-26), and obey the will of God instead, we willingly submit our old fleshly habits to the work of God’s Spirit within us (Romans 8:12-13). Each day we walk in more and more victory over the flesh (Romans 7:14 – 8:12). We eventually abide in God’s Spirit and daily follow God’s desires for our life (Galatians 5:16-26).

Prayer:
Father God, Your saving faith, a gift to us from Your mercy and love, comes from Your Holy Spirit and influences and transforms us. You draw us to Your heart and You renovate every aspect of our life by Your Spirit. This free gift is priceless, and we thank You for the sacrifice Jesus paid for our eternal life (Ephesians 2:8). We give You all of the praise, honor and glory for what You accomplish in our life.

Thought for the Day:
We overcome the deeds of our flesh by renewing our mind and surrendering our life to Christ. – Romans 12:2; Mark 10:28-29