About this we have much to say that is hard to explain, since you have become dull in understanding.  For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic elements of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food; for everyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is unskilled in the word of righteousness.  But solid food is for the mature, for those whose faculties have been trained by practice to distinguish good from evil Hebrews 5:11-14 NRSV
When we feel stuck, especially in our relationship with God, it can be easy to get frustrated, discouraged, and tempted to give up.
When we’re in this spot, our quiet times can become ritualistic, rote, and rules-focused, and we can’t enjoy them or grow from them. The way to get unstuck and grow in our relationship with God is to first identify what got us stuck in the first place. This happens in our quiet times.
Russ Ewell sits down with friends to talk about how to have a quiet time, get unstuck, and rekindle our passion for God.
Welcome to the deep spirituality podcast. In the weeks to come, you are going to be receiving branches from a tree called how to have a quiet time. There are a number of approaches that we want to take to working on our own relationships with God and helping you hopefully work on yours, you can work on them together. Relationship with God is from a biblical point of view. As I read it, the most fundamental of the fundamentals in the Bible. If you look at the old Testament consistently, the thing that wrecked Israel was they became unfaithful to God. It wasn’t any specific sin. It was that one that unhinged them forgetting God that broke it down, that caused them to lose in battle against their enemies. And a lot of people don’t believe that. I think I didn’t, I didn’t at all.
I didn’t see it because I was so overwhelmed by just trying to live like a Christian. Follow the rules, so to speak. But Mike, you’re the one who… “I’m The one.” Yes, like Neo. You’re the Neo of the spiritual world unfolding, unraveling the matrix, stopping spiritual bullets. Yes. You’re the one who said to me, I want you to do, I want you to write an article on how to have a quiet time. My question is, cause I didn’t like that title at all. I thought it was too boring. Didn’t want to really do it, but I did. And why did you want that one? What was the thing that you thought? What was I missing? What didn’t I see about people and what they need? And anybody can jump in on this. We’re here today in this podcast we’re calling getting unstuck.
We’re just talking a little bit in the beginning about relationship with God and some writing we’ve been doing and the plans we have of what we’ll be delivering. And you’ll be seeing a lot more from us in the weeks to come. But we have Parker Allen, Cameron straw, Alexis Colvin, Mike query and Amy query. Just sort of setting the table for what will be coming to you. But we’re asking Mike the question. So why did you want that particular article?
Couple things. So one, you know, we have our newsletter that goes out three days a week: kickstart your quiet time. So we’re sending people out quiet time stuff and getting good feedback. People are signing up for it. But I, I kinda thought like, you know, taking a step back, like, could we help people more with what, what could they do with this? Right. If they, if they’re going like, no, you know,
Nothing to something that’s messed up man, break my flow up.
Russ: 03:09 It’s water. It’s water. The Bible teaches that you need to get the water. (Jeremiah 17) of God, the roots grow out. Sorry, I couldn’t resist it. My Topo Chico, I couldn’t resist.
Russ: 03:23 Oh, okay. If Topo Chico is listening out there. We are Sponsored by Topo.
Mike: 03:30 It does actually. It looks pretty good. Okay, so one I thought could we help people more with the quiet time thing because it seems to help them quiet time and spending time with God in the morning reading your Bible, praying and we’re sending people studies. But I think there’s a lot more, we’ve talked about a little bit on the podcast and just in person, like there’s more that we could talk about in regards to quiet time, how to help people, you know, set them up to do well but also just you know, working on the website. I was looking just what else is out there, what other resources are out there. And there’s actually, when I was looking at what else, what other websites you know, are out there that are trying to talk about this stuff. It was very kind of all over the map. I didn’t really feel like there were any like real definitive guides, like real step-by-step. Let me walk you through,you know, just write down the nitty gritty, you know, like everything that you can think of. And I thought it’d be cool to have a, a definitive guide. And I think as far as the title, I mean, I think it’s, I just liked that it’s straightforward, you know, I think having something that everybody could look at and say, Hey, here’s how to have a quiet time. Here’s everything you would need to know. Having a guide like that I just thought would be pretty cool. And for myself personally, because I feel like when I have a quiet time, I can be, you know, depends on my state. Sometimes I get stuck, sometimes I’m reading, but I’m distracted. Sometimes I’m praying, but I’m don’t know if I’m praying about the right thing, I’m guilty. I’m like, should I be guilty? Is it, we’ve talked about false guilt before on this thing, you know, I’m kinda like,and I’ve been at having quiet times for a long time now, you know, so, so I just feel like, I don’t know, it’s supposed to be the most important thing in our day, in our life. Right. But I feel like it can be something that we don’t talk about a lot. Like, there’s so many other things that we talk about.
Cameron: 05:11 And that was the thing, right? We had too many Bible studies. We were not too many, but we have a lot of Bible studies on the spirituality, but we were getting in the weeds a lot, and then, you know, what’s more fundamental and basic than really connecting with God. And if we hadn’t fully defined that yet, I think that’s part of it.
Mike: 05:26 So, yeah, I mean that’s, those are kind of two main things. One, helping people with quiet times more since it seems to be, that’s, that’s a lot of feedback that we get is like, Hey, I like the quiet time stuff. So just giving something that’s meaty for people to go over and just looking out there and just going, I don’t think there’s a lot of stuff out there right now that’s really just guiding people and walking them through in an interactive and kind of cool holistic sort of way. I just thought that’d be a really neat resource that we can provide for people.
Russ: 05:52 So everybody in here has had a chance to see and read the copy of how to have a quiet time though it’s not going to be published. When you listen to this. It’ll be on its way. It’s being prepared. As Mike said, we’re, we’re doing a lot of supplemental content that’ll really help help everybody creatively work their way through it and hopefully with all the little data points that are in there about how to be creative. But when you guys read it, did you think the title was boring? The cause, that’s what I thought when I wrote it. I was like, this is boring. I tried to make it interesting and that was my goal. I’m going to take a boring title of an article that I agree with Mike, that if you don’t say what it is, people don’t look at it and say that’s what I need to get. But how did you, how did you respond to the title? I’m just curious, cause I think a lot of people when they hear like, Oh, there’s going to be a devotional or a a service or a talk on, on quiet times. I’m not sure how excited people get about that. But tell me what you think. I just want to know.
Alexis: 06:57 Well, I mean I think I usually really like interesting titles too. So typically I find that kind of title boring, but I do feel like it was, I don’t know, I think my first thought was like, okay, I feel like I’ve read something like this before. But as I was reading it I was like, I don’t know. I felt like it helped to be like, right, this is because it’s extensive and has like multiple things in it. So it helped to keep it simple of like, okay, this is like step by step, here’s how my times with God can look. So I think it helped keeping that simple, if that makes sense.
Russ: 07:31 Yeah, sure. What else?
Amy: 07:33 I think I just really need to learn how to have a quiet time. Honestly, I became a Christian as a teen and kind of learned that quiet time is just okay, you read the Bible and pray every day. And I kind of latched onto that like, okay, I’ll do that. That’s what you should do as a Christian. But then I think over the years I’ve just seen that I can do that and yet lack a lot of like, other things still control me. Like I’m still totally afraid all the time or I still really struggle. You know, I have an eating disorder since high school and I can feel like I’ve read my Bible and pray yet I feel kind of powerless. And why is that? And so I feel like I don’t really know how to do it, you know? So I think how to have a quiet time that is powerful and actually connects me with God is something I really need, and I don’t really know how. So I think the title, I didn’t necessarily boring didn’t cross my mind. I’m more felt like, Oh, I really need to figure that out. Like, I don’t know how to do that, you know?
Russ: 08:22 So that means they’re going to be, some people are going to look at and go, I feel like I read that before and they’re going to, other people are gonna look at it and say, yeah, I need to figure this out. I got to get this down.
Russ: 08:30 I don’t think it doesn’t take, well, I don’t want to spoil it. I was gonna say you find out pretty quick once you dive into it, like, oops, no, okay, this is different. You know what I mean?
Parker: 08:42 That’s what I was going to say, when I saw the title, I was like, yeah, I for sure have read this before. And I was like, I probably know most of what’s gonna be in here. But I think even reflecting on this… I’m in college, I think a lot of college students like don’t know how to do, like so many things. Like, I have no idea how to be close to my roommates and how to like have real friends or how to be close to my girlfriend or how to like, study or like do well in school. Like there’s so many things and I’m like having a quiet time. It’s like a lot deeper than how to like get a good grade in a class. Right. So I was like, okay, I for sure don’t know how to have a good quiet time. Or even what Amy was saying is like, sometimes I feel like I know the steps to do, but I still don’t find myself connecting with God. I kinda had to read this to in order to realize, okay, I actually don’t know how to have a quiet time.
Mike: 09:37 Well, one thing, we were talking about this earlier as we were going through it because it took me a long time to get through. I really enjoyed it. Like it was really fun. But we were talking about, you know, talking about together, like, you know, this can be a great thing to work on, like to go through together, like in person with someone. So like wherever you’re at, if you’re new to the journey, you know, you’ve never done God and stuff before it’s a, it’s a, it’s a great sort of primer to like, Hey, if you get, if you’re going from nothing, like it’s really cool. Have you ever met someone who hadn’t seen any of the star Wars?
Russ: 10:07 Yes, I’ve tried to save those people time and time again, it’s like a journey too far, but I try.
Mike: 10:13 I only know one person like that and he refuses to watch any of them. But I would love to just watch like from nothing with him.
Russ: 10:20 His life and probably a wreck, in shambles. It’s really sad when it is that it’s just, we, we are, we’re praying for him even as we speak.
Mike: 10:28 If he’s listening, he knows who he is. But then there’s us who we’ve been doing like a million years, I think we just get so wrapped up in our head and twisted by just, you know, life and our experiences and our, you know, when you’re around religion for a long time it’s really intertwined and entangled like my sort of behavior stuff I’ve learned and got. So it’s cool just being able to learn to start like shutting that away. But the sitting with someone going through it together, I think it’d be a great experience.
Russ: 10:55 That’s an interesting, that’s what we were thinking. We put another question at you. So, and it’s okay to, it’s okay to put a few spoilers and I’m not trying to keep you from doing that because we’re not gonna release it for a bit, but you know, we want to talk about it because you bringing it up, Mike and forcing me to address that subject I think made me have to ask the question, what is it really about and, what is it, what are the fundamentals of having a quiet time? Were there any things, you looked at it and you read it and you had a question about it and you’re like, Hm, I don’t get this. Or did anything strike you? Or was there just something that you were like, this makes no sense or it, I have a question about it. Or how did you draw that conclusion or that doesn’t seem biblically right? Was there anything that struck you? It doesn’t have to be anything. Like, you know, earth shattering. I’m just wondering, was there anything that sat with you and you’re like, Hmm. Cause I can tell you the one thing that was really a challenge for me to do was to make a list of I think it’s 10 books of the, that are the key to read. That was probably my most, well, I wouldn’t say my most difficult challenge. There was a lot of different, but it was pretty tough. I had, I stopped and I went, yeah, is this right to do first? Is it right? Because there’s two things that I talk about in the article. Is the Bible accurate versus is the Bible accessible? And I think most people that talk meaning that speak up or that lead traditionally have emphasized accuracy as if there are biblical translations that are totally inaccurate, which I don’t think that’s true. The thing that I sat down and said is for it to be accessible, the implication that is inaccessible and the very length of the Bible means that a lot of people are never going to read whole books of the Bible,. We can sit and pretend, but they’re going to be whole sections of the Bible that are never read by individuals. So I thought, well, what if you could condense it down and say, well, look, if we know you’re not going to read the whole thing, then what if you could read 10 books in your life and get them down and go. And so did, did that list surprise you? Did you look at it and go, where’s my favorite book?
Mike: 13:12 I don’t think it surprised me. But it did make me wonder a little bit more about the process or the methodology here. You’d be impressed that I know that Bleacher report dropped it’s top 50 NBA players of all time. And on Twitter, everyone’s like destroying each other on Twitter, fighting over it, you know? So it makes me wonder if people would react to that list similarly, you know, like, and maybe in a good way. I don’t know. But as I was going through it. I was trying to move through because I wanted to get through it, but that did make me want to double back and go like, why these books.
Russ: 13:54 Well it’s a tough one. So, so for instance, obviously I’m not saying those are the best books of the Bible. There wasn’t my position.Yeah. It’s not my deal. And I wasn’t trying to get the top 15 players. I was trying to get the books of the Bible that in my mind are most easily accessible for you seeing God and what it’s like to have relationship with God. So for instance, it gets tricky with the major prophets, Isaiah Jeremiah, Ezekiel because they all have an argument. In that case, Jeremiah is just my favorite. Jeremiah is relentless in his challenge from beginning to again, that the problem with Israel is you have abandoned and forgotten God. It is relentless Ezekiel talks about visions of God. And Isaiah is probably the old Testament book that Jesus quoted the most. So I’m not saying my list is, is better than someone else’s if they don’t like the list, go make their own. But what I’m saying is if, you’ll notice in the list that I put down, God, this is how you see God in the book. This is what you’re looking for. It’s not the only thing. And the point I make is that the Bible is a book about God. And that what you want to do is you want to try to have some books that you get down, that when you start reading them you say, what does this tell me about God? Not what is this telling me about Israel? Not what does this tell me about history. Now what does this tell me about culture. Not what does this tell me about the coming of Christ. What does this tell me about God? How can I learn about that? So if something happens in the Bible, you go, why would God say that? What does God want me to know? What does God want me to see? And I think you know, that was the goal.
Mike: 15:43 Well and that kind of makes lot of sense too cause I felt like that was one of the more global points being made throughout the study and the guide was, is that you know, quiet times are supposed to be about God and like it’s like simple and kind of profound. In there it talks about, Noah, quiet times are not even for self-improvement or comfort or you know, and I realize like, Oh snap, like when I go in for reading, I have like objectives in mind, you know, like things I think I’m supposed to be doing. But it’s kind of sadly rare that I go in and like, what am I gonna learn about God today? What am I gonna how am I going to connect with Him? What different thing am I gonna look for him to show me and my life, you know
Cameron: 16:20 That makes me think about one of the parts you talked about with journaling and that was the part that really hit me. I journal, but I haven’t been writing for a while. I’ve been more typing out questions and stuff. But I think I don’t ask those kinds of questions enough. Like, okay, what does this teaching me about God? Like, I think a lot of my journaling, which you mentioned in the study is I think a lot of my journaling can be more emotional. You know, it’s not like I’m really praying about the emotions, I’m just kind of writing down feelings and you address that. But I found that to be a tough part for me where I’m like, well how do I, I think I’m lazy emotionally for sure. But also just like spiritually in that, in that way where I can just gloss over the Bible in my quiet time where I’m just reading it. But I’m not really digging in, not really taking the time, not really asking myself the type of questions that would help me.
Mike: 17:09 To me, that’d be like if there was going to be a controversial part that’s what I think it would be like, cause there’s a riff in there about journaling. It’s not for putting down our emotions, right. There’s other place for that in this prayer. I anticipate that’s hard because usually I associate journaling with like let me put my thoughts down and put my feelings down and I’m like, I’ve realized that I’m like, I haven’t seen this is what prayer is supposed to be.
Russ: 17:35 Well you know, obviously people can have their own opinion. I don’t care if someone agrees with what I’m saying or not. The question is what is important. And I think people aren’t questioning, they’re not saying, have I put every ounce of my energy into writing down my emotions and only 2% in praying. And I think that’s the question. And that’s why there’s an article link in the article to a psychology today article where the guy spells out here’s the positives about doing that kind of journaling. And here’s the negatives about journaling. I’m all about asking questions. And so if someone says, and we’re going to get to the topic, cause I know some of you are listening going, Hey, I want a Bible study out of this, well you’re going to get that. But I think sometimes we need to learn how to have spiritual conversations and that’s what this is and how to draw each other out. And we’re also previewing to you what’s about to come is several items. And they won’t all be written by me that are going to help people know how to ask questions about their relationship with God. And I think most of the time in my view, when things are controversial, quote unquote, you know it’s because we don’t want to ask questions. It’s because what the tendency is when, to use a religion major phrase, when we begin to approach issues of orthodoxy, we almost become like petrified wood and go, this is how it has to be. So, part of what we’re supposed to do, and this, the topic we’re going to talk about, I’ve already mentioned it getting unstuck. We can’t get unstuck from patterns until we questioned the pattern. I’ve got another link in the article called the problem with biblical tribalism. And that article is about people picking a translation and saying that’s the one that’s the one. And if you read the message, you’re a heretic, you’re totally inaccurate. Look, I got my problems with the message, but I got my problems with new American standard and I got my problems with the English standard and I’ve got my problems with the voice and I’ve got my problems with the new Jerusalem Bible. And I’ve got my problem with people who translate the Bible from Greek to English that are biblical scholars, where sometimes I go, we’ll be better off with a professor at Stanford who’s a Greek scholar and let him just translate it objectively without even not even believing. I don’t even believe the Bible. I’m just going to translate this. So I think I might promise all kinds of things. You cannot promise something. Here’s the key question. Are you able to get yourself unstuck? Yeah. So you can say, I’m for this, I’m for that. Are you growing? How are you changing it? Amy alluded, this is your quiet time. Powerful. If it’s not that you got to ask question, why am I here? And instead of getting angry at anybody who questions you know, what you, what you think why not question what you think. And that was my, my effort was to how much I’ve had to change the way I think about everything. Right? And I didn’t even get into it all. There’s another, you know, fall gets deeper. There’s a substantial amount of stuff that I didn’t even get into. But go ahead to Cameron and flip us to that slide.
Russ: 21:03 Yeah, you’re right on, right there. So how to get unstuck. Just want to nail these things for a minute, because I do think that that a big part of having a great quiet time is getting unstuck. So you were talking about Karen earlier about, you know, you’ve got kind of it, it’s tough because it helps you emotionally to write in your journal. And so if I were going to talk to you personally, I say then then do that. Right? But you can’t, if you can’t translate it that into prayer, then essentially you’re praying to yourself or something. Right? But it’s not bad. It’s about can I, I’m going to get in touch with my emotions. Well, here’s the thing I find emotionally I can only endure with, with intensity, about one hour of unraveling my emotions. So if I put that hour into writing my emotions, I’m done. I’m not going to go out in another hour and then pray, through them all. You can see a radically, we can say that. Yeah. And so what happens is we ended up getting stuck in our emotions.
Nathan: 22:09 Today’s podcast is brought to you by the kickstart your quiet time newsletter. If you want to begin your day by reading the Bible, but you’re unsure of where to start. We’ve got you covered every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. We will deliver a handcrafted quiet time to your inbox to kick start your mornings with God. Head on over to deep spirituality.net to sign up for our newsletter. That’s it. Simple enough. That’s deep spirituality.net and sign up for the kickstart, your quiet time newsletter today. Now back to the show.
Russ: 22:38 So there’s some things that I think are important about getting unstuck. And Parker, when you hear the idea about getting unstuck, how does that, how does that strike you? Like what does that make you think of?
Parker: 22:48 Just makes me think of like growth or like changing. I have a messed up shoulder. I had surgery on it a couple of years ago and every time I like hurt it by doing something stupid, I do all the time. But I like it gets like frozen and it gets stuck and I can’t move it for like a couple of days. And I think of that feeling of like finally being able to go and like play basketball or get to do something again and like kind of like that version of unstuck. That’s like what comes in.
Russ: 23:22 Okay. So, so what I, what I want us to be thinking about is like a real good one is stubbornness. Just getting stuck and saying I’m not changing my mind. That’s a good example of being stuck. What I found for myself was, and I write about this in the article. I discovered, and it wasn’t, I didn’t discover this in writing the article. I discovered this in my quiet time. When I write something or I prepare a message or talk about something, I don’t, that’s not my quiet time. I don’t that that’s like something different. And, and so I discovered I’m tolerating a lot of unbelief. Why? Because I’m not seeking to do impossible things. I wrote down in a note book of mine, I wrote down, I have to begin to embrace the necessity of the impossible. Sometimes impossible things are a necessity for your life. So Cameron, you’ve worked on your diet, health and all that a lot, right? And then at a certain point, it, I know we taught it felt impossible definitely. But it was a necessity. Does that make sense? Definitely. Where you, where you suddenly have to go, you know what? Some people can sit around and say, let me think about what I want to eat, would I like to be a vegetarian? We’re not going to get into it all. I can be a vegetarian with all that could be a pescatarian or whatever they call that “pescadorian”.
Russ: 24:45 I think a lot of the times that my unbelief manifests itself in, when I look at life and I say one, two, three, these things I would like to see happen, but are you kidding me? I don’t have enough time. I don’t have enough skill. I have too much sin. It ain’t gonna happen. And I realized I was tolerating a lot of unbelief. And part of where I get stuck is in unbelief. I think we can also get stuck in resisting the Holy spirit. Meaning I think people who get angry a lot usually are resisting the Holy spirit. That’s one thing I say, because the Holy Spirit’s pushing from the inside saying, come on, let’s do it. Let’s do it. Let’s do it. And you don’t want to hear it. And so you shove it down and that’s resisting the Holy spirit. And you see that in the book of acts where there’s anger, that’s when people that are resisting the Holy spirit. And then the other two things that just came out of thinking about this idea of getting unstuck is I’ve been working on this a lot. The presence and power of God in our lives. The presence of God is faith. Faith that he’s right there with you every step of the way. And the power of God is the Holy spirit. I think in a lot of traditions, religious denominations theological perspectives, the Holy spirit is greatly under, discussed, under, written, about under believed in. It’s almost like there’s a portion of Christians who are afraid to get into the discussion because they may become Harry Potter or bewitched or Hocus Pocus from the Halloween movie that I think Alexis was watching. I think people get afraid to talk about the Holy spirit. And so I wanted to just address this idea of getting unstuck does all that make sense.
Russ: 26:35 So let me read a great passage here. Hebrews five 11 are we growing spiritually? And I just want you guys to tell me what you think about the stuckness. When you hear this, you guys can jump in however you want. Hebrews 5:11 in the new revised standard version, which you learned about if you read the paper. That’s one of the “accurate” ones about this. We have much to say that is hard to explain since you have become dull in understanding for though by this time you ought to be teachers. You need someone to teach you again the basic elements of the Oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food for everyone who lives on milk. Being still an infant is unskilled in the word of righteousness, but solid food is for the mature. For those whose faculties have been trained by practice to distinguish good from evil. So Parker, why don’t you get us started when you see that about being unstuck and are we growing spiritually and you read that passage, what hits you
Cameron: 27:56 I mean, for me the first thing that sticks out is the Dolan understanding part. I’m like, and that being one of the reasons why I’m not mature. Yeah. Because I think we, and I think you spoke to this in the article as well. Yeah. I think, man, I can really be dull and we were just talking about the journaling and all that, but I think there’s multiple reasons we can get dull. I think my sin, you know what I mean? Not trying to work on stuff, not trying to grow on things, not allowing people into my life and not allowing influence, but also not connecting with God and think it all kind of goes together. But I think, yeah, that, that’s the part that stuck out to me when I’m like, man, okay. One of the reasons I’m not further along. Able to teach, able to be, I don’t know, mature spiritually is I’m just, I’m just dull and I don’t, I’m, there’s something I’m not understanding, but it also is kind of cool to think that there is, it makes me kind of motivated to think, man, I can be skilled in the word. Like I could be skilled. I usually don’t think about the Bible and going, man, I’m just not skilled enough in the Bible. But I think that’s a cool, that just stuck out to me as like, wow, like that’s something I’d like to have.
Russ: 28:58 Well, don’t you think he’s talking about skilled in its application, right. Cause what he’s saying is he’s saying you’ve got to, yes, you’ve got a choice between milk and solid food. Right. And, and if we’ll go back to what Amy said when she read the title, how to have a great quiet time, she was willing to admit, you know, I need milk. I haven’t figured this out. Right. I think a lot of people, once we get religious, once we go to church for a while, we’re like I already know how to do that. I read the papers, I got it. Yeah, right. Got it. I don’t want to read it again. Get ready. Admit it first. Yeah, well you have to, you have to realize you may, you may have it right the same way that essentially milk is a very nutritional meal for a baby.
Russ: 29:35 But once you, yeah, but once you start getting a little older, when I was like 15/16 it was sirloin steak. You become lactose intolerant. You’re 15/16 throwing down three steaks a day like they’re water. My body was doing what? Trying to grow. So if I was still sucking down the milk, I wouldn’t be growing because it’s not enough. But a lot of times we go, well I’m going to just stay in the milk stuff cause it’s what, what’s milk? It’s easier to digest. Yeah. So I can listen to milk a lot easier, a lot easier listen to milk because it doesn’t call me to be anything, but you start chomping on it. Like I had growing up in Michigan, we got the, you got the big baked potato right next to the sirloin steak.
Russ: 30:23 You got no, you got no salad, salad people. And you got a sharp knife. You’re breaking it out, you’re carving, you’re trying to get through that, and then you take it and you can’t take like you can’t eat half of it. You take a bite and you’re working through that thing you’re working at. And so solid food should be like, Whoa. Have you ever eaten a steak? And it gets stuck in your throat? Not bad. I’m just saying you eat it and you’re like, Whoa, I gotta drink something because I didn’t chew that enough. That’s what solid food makes you sit there and go, I don’t know if I can handle hearing this is too much. What were you gonna say?
Amy: 31:08 Well, I think the part that stood out to me was the verse 14 solid food is for the mature, for those whose faculties have been trained by practice to distinguish good from evil. And I think there’s parts of me that I do not want to be trained. Like I do not want to address like in our marriage, we have friends who will talk to us about, to me about, Hey, you know, you, I get emotional, right? And then, Hey, if you just kind of give into your motions, that’s gonna shut your husband down at any time that comes up. I get like, Hey, no! I don’t want to go there. You know, and I, there’s parts of my heart, maybe because of unbelief I could change or something that I do not want to really keep, let you know, keep working on or keep letting that training and, and go, Hey, there’s good and evil in me and I gotta be trained by the word here. And I don’t know, like that process, it hurts, you know?
Russ: 31:51 Sorry, I didn’t mean to distract you. Unstuck. There is another question. Is there a veil between you and God? In 2 Corinthians 3:12 it says, since then we have such a hope. We act with great boldness, not like Moses who put a veil over his face to keep the people of Israel from gazing at the end of the glory that was being set aside. And this can be somewhat complicated to talk about, but so I tried to get it focused on how do we apply that, what was happening right there to our day to day lives, meaning that there was a veil over Moses face so the people wouldn’t see that eventually Israel was going to end. It was about like, no, you don’t need you can’t handle the whole thing of God. So we’re going to let you see the radiance of God, but we’re not going to let you see this thing is going to be fading.
Russ: 32:38 That’s what the veil is. And so I think a veil between us and God is… A veil between us and God comes boiled down to four areas. We resist rather than submit to God. We deny rather than embrace truth, we settle rather than grow. We fear rather than believe. And this leads to the third question. What vales exist for us today. 2 Corinthians 3:14 but their minds were hardened indeed to this very day when they hear the reading of the old covenant, that same veil is still there since only in crisis.
Russ: 33:26 He’s really talking about for a person who’s of the religious establishment of the day, whatever your religious establishment of the day is, when you read the Bible, when you look at the Bible, and so he’s talking, there’s a duality here of what is it talking about in the context of when it was written at the time and how do we apply it to ourselves in a world that’s a bit different. And when we’re not a part of Israel, the way we can take it and apply it to ourselves is has our mind hardened to the word of God in some way so that when we read it, it’s veiled to us. We can’t really see what’s happening. And these are the ones I saw in myself and I’ll just have you guys comment on it. Resisting rather than submitting to God. A veil is when you’re resistant to something God wants to change in your life.
Russ: 34:14 God’s trying to make, get you to believe and take action on something, but you just don’t want to deal with it. Don’t want to talk about. Deny rather than embrace the truth. Sometimes the truth is overwhelming. I don’t know if you guys have ever experienced that. And so we end up feeling like, and we can even do this psychologically, it’s trauma that we’ll do it. Our brain will actually turn off memory and say, I’m not going to do that cause I can’t handle this. Do we deny rather than embrace the truth, read the Bible, talk to people and go, I’m just going to deny that that’s true cause it makes me feel better and more comfortable. Do we settle rather than grow? I think this happens with a lot of people get older once you hit 35, 45 55 and beyond, a lot of times we start going, you know what? I’ve done a lot already. It’s like a person who works out and gets partly in shape and then says, Hey, this is better than I’ve ever was. Why should I keep on going to the gym and then fear rather than believe I get killed on this one is, it’s a lot as I don’t know if it’s, I think I’ve always been this way. It’s easier for me to believe my fears than to believe what God can do. So tell me what you guys think.
Alexis: 35:15 Well, I was, I was thinking about even just with the last scripture, when I don’t make it about, am I knowing God more and being closer to God more than that’s when I like resist and I settle for fear, I feel like especially I was thinking fear, especially for me too, where I’m like, what if I can’t change this? What if I try and fail?
Russ: 35:38 Can I make you question yourself? So you said when I’m not close to God, I think I do these things and I make a counter argument that you do these things and then you’re not close to God. Meaning you starts by being resistant, being a denier, settling and fearing. Then that makes you not be close to God. Just a counter thought. Cause I would argue that it’s, it’s the whole first John chapter five where he says what is love to obey God. So I think a lot of times we think being close to God is an emotional thing. It certainly is. But in the end, God says, even if your emotions say do X , you still do Y. And that’s what it means to deny yourself. Take up the cross that you actually, you’re supposed to say, it doesn’t matter if I feel close cause you may feel close to God and be far from God.
Alexis: 36:33 I’m trying to say is like one of my focus isn’t letting me be close to God and my focus is let me change my behavior. Let me like, look like I’m okay. That’s when I started resisting. You know, like because I’m trying to just like be fine and not grow.
Russ: 36:50 So that motive, the motive is I got to behave or be perfect or not get in trouble or whatever. All of us go through that and you say, once that motive goes wrong, then that’s when I go to those things. Yeah, that totally makes sense. I didn’t even think of that. So your motive is what makes you become resistant, deny, settle, fearful. And my motive when I’m afraid is to avoid any of the, what does that book, the worst case scenarios I’m trying to avoid the worst case scenario, I get afraid and I’m like, okay, if that happened that Oh, that’d be the worst case scenario. Okay. I don’t know about that. So my motive becomes not having something bad happened to me as opposed to believing something that helped.
Mike: 37:37 I can kind of relate to that one because for me, I picked, I picked settle, like that’s my, I love me some settling. And it’s tied into these other ones for me, you know, I’m fearful. I think I don’t like the truth about things. So settling for me is like my way of like handling like emotions, being hard, handling like, the distance between where I am now and where I need to be. And I have a way I’ve talked about in this room with some of you guys like about how I like would just love like mediocrity cause it just means I don’t have to like, you know, care. I can just not have to feel the pain of like I tried and failed, you know, or let the pain of growth because I have to see truth and talk about it. Is that what you’re saying that that cause Alexis has put on this, put us on this path of recognizing that a lot of these things happen right then because of the motive we have. Is that my, my motive, I don’t know. I think this is my, like I want to feel good about myself.
Mike: 38:36 I want to feel not bad. I want to like feel like I can be successful at something and it’s easier for me just to find something that I know I can do and feel confident in it versus like, but it’s not necessarily the thing that the vision God has for me or who, like my, my wife, my daughter, her friends need me to be, you know? So I, I just get, cause I get mad, like I get very stubborn, right? Like I, the phrase someone used for me recently was a, you know, learned helplessness. You know, I’ve just sort of like embraced the fact that, you know, there’s some things just are always going to be like this. And I just like train the people around me to, you know, not expect much of me, you know? And that, that’s kind of my way of coping with the world.
Russ: 39:15 I relate to it and we’re very different personalities, but I relate to it because I think that a lot of that with the word you use is pain. And I think that what all, what the nature of the human being is, is to avoid pain. And that’s why in those Neanderthal, you know, ancient man-days we learn to run. So the first line of defense for man in his original origins was to run, it wasn’t to pickup the rifle hadn’t been invented. Right. Wasn’t to pickup The fire hadn’t been invented yet. Right. It was to run. And I think that that’s that whole psychological fight or flight. Yeah. And, and I think that what happens is we all have different levels of courage, but all of us have substantial fears, and when we feel them, we run. And so I think what you’re describing is that, Oh, we’re going to get Parker in here. Then we’re going to go to Hebrews five and close out.
Parker: 40:14 Yeah. I mean, I was just thinking, I mean, when you said the whole like when you start to get in your thirties, forties or 50s, and you start to settle. And like I feel like I’m settling now. My first time not procrastinating was unsettling. I was even going back to that Hebrew scripture about like milk, I was like, it’s like nice to just have milk. Like it’s nice to just be a baby. Like if I could just be a baby. Like, cause it’s easy and it’s like simple, but like you don’t get to do anything. Yeah, I know. And that’s when I see like I just have a lot of fear of like what Mike said like trying and failing
Russ: 40:57 What do you think your biggest fear is? Let me ask a better question. Most college students face this and I did, I’m sure everybody in here did fear of making decisions. Fear of choice.
Parker: 41:12 Yeah, that’s big. I never thought of that. But that’s big.
Russ: 41:16 Peter Drucker, one of the foremost management thinkers said something I read once and I’ve never been able to find it again. But I’m pretty sure it was him. He said that the reason CEOs, executives are the highest pay people in every organization is because they sustained the greatest amount of stress and risk because they’re the ones who make the decisions and when you make a decision and it goes bad, every bit of the volatility in reaction to that bad decision is coming at that person, not the person making the product in a factory, not the person designing the product in a design room. And I just think sometimes with college students, one of the reasons they settle is because of the difficulty of making a decision. So, and I’m not talking down to you, I mean I’ve been through this where you’re sitting down and you’re looking at saying this is due in two weeks, but I don’t want to make the decision to sit down and figure out how many hours am I going to need to study and to schedule it in.
Russ: 42:10 I’m just going to kind of go around in denial. One of our four things I’m resisting studying. Like I used to look at, look at homework and I just waited for somebody to say, do you want to go play basketball? I just, yeah, I would sit there studying, hoping somebody would drop by. Then they’d say it and I go, yeah, yeah, I don’t know. I can’t do it. I can’t maybe come on man, you can spare a half an hour. Come on. I can’t do that. I think for a lot of people it’s they don’t want to have to make a decision because decisions create stress and I think a lot of people get stuck simply on the decision.
Parker: 42:45 It could be a level of not wanting responsibility to like that? I was thinking for myself like I don’t want to make a decision knowing that it could be the wrong one. Like I had no problem making a decision if I know it’s the right one.
Mike: 42:59 In college, you know you get to live it. You can go periods of time in denial pretty easily. Like I would go, you know, month was going like this sweet I life is great, you know, not being, didn’t go to lecture, but you know what’s the big deal and.
Russ: 43:11 Especially if you’re not paying for it. Yeah. That includes loans, parents, whatever. But if it’s not actually cash coming out of a bank account for you, right then there is no pain in the moment. The pain comes later. Yeah. Everybody hates student loans. I can’t believe I got to pay these student loans. Well that’s the price of your enjoyment. You enjoyed yourself. Now you gotta pay. Yeah, I think some time. So if you’re out there, these spirituality, we did a lot of talking today about the upcoming, how to have a quiet time but for today we talked about getting unstuck.
Russ: 43:43 We hope you enjoy the conversation cause we tried to do a little bit more of that today just to, you know, get yourself five, six friends together and just sit down and talk. It’s a good thing. Talk about your relationship, God. Talk about your faith, talk about your fears, talk about those areas of resistance, talk about those challenges. But most of all talk about it because you want to grow. If we grow, we grow into our dreams. Nobody ever settled into their dream, resisted into their dream, denied into their dream. It doesn’t happen. You grow into your dream and the reality is the fear should be embraced because once you embrace it and conquer, faith lives and when faith lives, I think it’s in James chapter one in the voice translation it says, once we enter that suffering properly, it’s able to blossom. Our faith is able to blossom.
Russ: 44:25 And so I think if we don’t grow in faith. We’re in trouble. And just to note out for Parker and what he was talking about there at the end, and Hebrews five here, one of the main things it’s talking about is it saying that you get dull when you don’t keep growing and you get dull? Dullness means you hear it wrong. You feel it wrong, you react to it wrong, you miss it. Hebrews five seven tells how Jesus kept himself sharp. It’s that basic. How to have a quiet time in the days of his flesh. Jesus offered prayers. Let me read that again. In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications with loud cries and tears to the one who was able to save him from death and he was heard because of his reverence submission and that answers that question that we were throwing back and forth about emotion. Our emotions channeled into our prayer change, God’s movement and mind channeled into any other thing. It’s not changing God’s mind.
Russ: 45:24 Remember to subscribe to these spirituality. You can subscribe on our Apple podcast, Spotify. I don’t use either one of those from my podcast. I use podcast one and then I use another one I can’t remember in there right now, but wherever you listen to your podcast, do it. Leave us a five star rating if you would. If you like it, leave us a five star rating. If you don’t like it, like Parker, leave us a five star rating anyway and visit our site, these deepspirituality.net. We’re working really hard. The team here is working really hard, tried to provide you with the kind of questions that we ask ourselves to help us grow. Have a wonderful autumn. It’s going to be cool.