One of the things I dread the most is having dental work done. Ugh!!! I hate the thought of my mouth being propped open for long periods of time, not being able to move or swallow easily. To be honest, it makes me very anxious.
This time, though, wasn't so bad. I even elected not to use the gas that makes you feel loopy during the procedure. I made a conscious decision to only use the Novocain and just go numb.
Those who know me well know this was HUGE!
Sure, lots of prayers went up the night before, and more throughout the morning. "Hold me close and keep me calm, Lord." I prayed before and during the work. My "after" prayer was one of praise, involving silent confetti throwing, giving thanks to Jesus for settling my spirit.
The Novocain was enough to cause my mouth to become numb and numb-er so I couldn't feel the work of the drill, the file, or the filling of a cavity. But my willingness to abide in the arms of my Jesus was what calmed me down. I was aware that work was happening, but my mind wasn't negatively affected by the activity.
Isn't that the way it is in our spiritual lives sometimes? We're so fearful of the work God wants to do in our lives that we choose to become numb and numb-er instead of being alert and aware of the work He is stirring inside of our hearts.
God wants us sensitive to His Spirit so we can respond in obedience and not fear.
I've learned, sometimes the hard way, that to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit we must be deeply submerged in His presence. It's the only place where we get to know Him better so we can love Him more.
Remaining mindfully aware of His presence and consistently soaking in His Word is how we learn what His voice sounds like. Being submerged in His presence allows our minds to be tuned in to His voice, becoming numb and numb-er to the many voices of the enemy; the voices that seek to turn our hearts away from God. Practicing the spiritual discipline of abiding in Christ (John 15) moves us toward maturity, and gives us discernment between good and evil.
But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil (Hebrews 5:14 NKJV).
By lunch time that day, all was good. My gums were a little sore, but my taste buds were alive and well.
God wants our hearts sensitive to His Spirit and numb to the enemy's. With our spiritual taste buds and eyes wide awake in His presence, we can taste His indescribable goodness and see His transforming grace at work in our lives.