Monday, April 23, 2018

Shifting Atmospheres Chapter 8

Chapter 8 – Discerning Atmospheres

This chapter teaches us ways to Identify / discern the atmospheres around us.  We need to start with a healthy normal (see chapter 7) for proper discernment.  It is also important to value truth, because if we devalue truth, discernment is diminished.

I think a big goal for me in reading this chapter is learning to recognize the source of our struggles and the proper way to deal with it.  How easy is it to just pickup and agree with the atmosphere around us and embrace it as our own.  This can happen when we do not recognize when things are coming at us verses originating from us and we need to ask for forgiveness for partnering with these negative atmospheres.  Not only can we pick up these broadcasts from people we encounter, but also from places and things.  It is not specifically mentioned but I think places and things can be like repeaters of the atmosphere or intent imparted on them from people or entities.  The author gives an account from a particular grocery store with a “must buy” atmosphere that she as well as other people have picked up on.

I find it interesting that although atmospheres are largely spiritual, we can commonly pick them up through our natural senses.  When identifying the atmosphere around us, we need to pay attention to our moods, how we feel in different environments and situations. Also pay attention to the voices/messages we hear internally.  The enemy will often mimic God’s moves to spread confusion and fear so it is vital to examine the fruit and tune in to the heart of God.  Other ways mentioned that we may encounter to help us expose the atmosphere is through dreams and vision.

This chapter was so good for me to read because it showed me how simple shifting atmospheres really is, and I now feel empowered to change my moods and the moods of where I am at; it showed me that I don't have to submit to judgmental thoughts, critical thinking, hateful emotions, dishonoring talk, etc.  I now realize that negative and destructive thoughts are not hard to get rid of because they are not me making them up, that is, I don't have to change myself in order to get rid of them because, as Dawna says, they are not coming from me but at me, so I just need to stop listening to the negative channel they are coming from and instead tune into God's channel and thoughts!

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Shifting Atmospheres Chapter 7

Chapter 7 – Finding Your Normal

This chapter encourages us to examine our “Normal” thoughts or beliefs about ourselves to determine if they are based on the truths of God’s word or the lies of the enemy.  Since it is impossible for any belief system based on a lie to produce good fruit, establishing the proper normal with a true mindset is crucial to properly discerning atmospheres.

When we believe a lie for so long, we think it is normal and thus fail to recognize and reject it as coming from the enemy.  These lies bear bad fruit in our lives.  We do not want to work at hiding the bad fruit, but instead uprooting the lies by taking every thought captive and renewing our minds with God’s truth.

Below are the main points charted in the book to help us examine our normal.

Healthy Normal Unhealthy Normal
Courage         Fear
Accepted         Rejected
Peace Stress
Love Selfishness
Self-Control Perversion
Acceptance Self-Hatred
Prosperity Poverty
Purpose         Aimlessness
Hope Hopelessness
Joy         Sadness

Dawna made a point that stuck out to me: when Holy Spirit reveals something to me, I should not try to cover the mess up but embrace the healing God wants to do now that I see.  It's so true that we can only be free by being honest.  The lies don't have any power once we realize the truth.  Lies only have power when we think they are the truth.  So I can walk out my healing simply by no longer hiding from the facts but acknowledging the voices that are false as what they are: false.  We can ask Holy Spirit to reveal the lies and supplant them with truth; that's how Dawna says to develop a healthy normal.

I was struck by the story of the lady at the end of the chapter.  Wow!  The little things do matter and we need God to reveal to us the impact of things!  It's way too easy to ignore thoughts we accept as our own or about ourselves that we embrace as our reality.