My daughter learned to ride a bike a year and a half ago. This may not sound like a big deal, but it was a major turning point for her. (See “Praying Momma”) We had tried everything to help her to learn. Her dad had found a way to put training wheels on a bike for bigger children. Her Aunt Laurie had worked with her by separating skills and practicing each one in isolation. First learn to balance, then steer, then brake…, but Natalie just couldn’t pull all of these skills together. The pediatrician recommended physical therapy.
And then one Easter break she went to visit her two best friends, Christine and Alyssa, and they taught her to ride a bike. Not only did she ride by herself for the first time, she rode on gravel (less than ideal conditions).
Later I asked her about it. What was different this time? She told me that before visiting the girls she just didn’t think she could do it. This time she said that whenever she wavered the girls would yell, “You can do it Natalie!” And she believed them.
What we believe about ourselves is very important. It will color our destiny. If we believe that we are emotionally wounded, broken, bad, volatile, weak, a failure, etc. then we will live this out. We will wonder why we have a pattern of failure, a stubborn addiction that we just can’t break. The truth will play itself out in your life. A lie will also play itself out.
Consider the words of John Eldredge in “Free to Live”:
“You are forgiven. Your sin nature-the traitor within you that continually sabotages your best intentions- had died with Jesus Christ. You have the life of Jesus living in you. Now, I know, I know. It sure doesn’t feel that way most days. But you have to ground your life in something more reliable than experience. You begin with the truth, and then it will play itself out in your life.” (p. 102)
John goes on to describe our new hearts, after we accept the redemptive work of Jesus Christ:
“Before we move on to how this can become our experiential reality, I need to make one more thing clear: the redemptive work of Jesus Christ reaches the depths of the human heart. This is absolutely essential for us to believe. For one thing, a good part of Christendom doesn’t understand that this is true; they have been told that their heart is still the disaster it was before Jesus found them. Not so.” (p. 107)
“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.” Ezekiel 36:26-27
“He purified their hearts by faith.” Acts 15:9
“Circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit.” Romans 2:29
“Pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” 2 Timothy 2:22
“The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.” 1 Timothy 1:5
“But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart.” Luke 8:15
This is embarrassing to admit (because my husband has been talking about the good heart for over ten years), but I began to comprehend this about myself for the first time yesterday morning. After my Bible study, I went for a bike ride by myself and found myself daydreaming about my future instead of reliving my past. It’s like God took the spiritual training wheels off! My beliefs about myself made a dramatic shift, and God is leading me to a higher level of healing.