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Written by Nancy Ruegg for “From the Inside Out” @ http://nancyaruegg.com
View original post @ https://nancyaruegg.com/2021/06/17/habitual-pathways/
June 17, 2021 by Nancy Ruegg
a time to enjoy all the things
you never had time to do
when you worked.
One of my retirement pleasures is watching the circus squirrels in the strip of woods behind our house. They spiral the trunks in a speedy game of tag, balance at the tip of a branch without fear, and make dare-devil leaps from tree to tree.
One day I discovered those leaps are part of a habitual route squirrels follow to and from their homes. Turns out they do not gambol haphazardly from tree to tree but “lay out and follow (probably by scent) pathways through the branches.”
Mammalogists surmise this behavior is especially handy when they’re in a hurry. When danger lurks, the little critters can high tail it home with ease.
One day the Spirit combined what I was learning about squirrels with what I knew about brain research (from teaching elementary school), and taught me an important lesson.
First the brain research: We create neural pathways in our brains with behavior. The more we repeat a behavior, the stronger and more deeply imbedded that behavior-pathway becomes until it is habit.
The lesson? Like the squirrels that lay out pathways through the trees to their nests, we can lay out pathways in our brains that lead home to the refuge of our Heavenly Father.
The question becomes, what are the branches that can make a habitual pathway to God?
I believe scripture truths form the stoutest limbs. As we memorize encouraging verses and pray them again and again, the pathways of faith, strength, peace, and more become embedded—not only in our minds but in our spirits. Reciting them back to their Author propels us into his Presence.
What might be some worthwhile passages to include? Oh my. The Bible offers a whole forest of reliable scripture-branches, ready to become part of the pathway into God’s sanctuary.
Here are a few of my favorites, though less traveled than some scriptures. You probably won’t find these on a list of “Top Ten Most Popular Bible Verses”—I checked! But they’ve proven particularly helpful to me.
You do not realize now what I am doing,
but later you will understand.
Granted, Jesus spoke these words to his disciples the night of his arrest, so some would frown on applying them personally. But the way this verse turned up during my quiet time one morning, precisely when I needed reminding of God’s wisdom and intentionality, led me to accept it as his confirmation for the moment. Again and again, he has brought this truth to my mind.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is
noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely,
whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy
—think about such things.
Those negative emotions of worry, fear, hopelessness, and more can be whisked out of the way, as we focus on everything positive and follow this reliable branch to God’s peace and joy.
We are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do
good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Each of us was created for God’s glory—to reflect his attributes—and accomplish good works. Therefore, our lives have purpose and value. That’s a strong branch to follow back to his affirming Presence when worthlessness wants to knock us down.
The more time we spend traversing such scripture-truths, the more we absorb God’s thoughts and the more secure, contented, and useful our lives become.
Like the squirrels boldly scampering through the trees, we can confidently follow such pathways as these into the joyful presence of our Heavenly Father.
Come run with me!
You make known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
Psalm 16:11 NIV
What scriptures offer stout branches for your pathway to God’s presence? Please share in the Comments section below!
P.S. (from bruce) When there is no other place to turn…turn to God !! If you’re not a “born again” Christian, is the Holy Spirit urging you to open this link ?? Here is the truth about how God’s grace is received to become a Christian in God’s eyes; through understanding and obeying the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ… https://godsmanforever.com
To my brothers and sisters in Christ, please feel free to share this message of the cross with those in need…
You say you are a “born again” believer… BUT is your soul “ON FIRE” for the Lord ?? If not, open this link – https://godsmanforever.com/2020/08/01/are-you-a-christian-in-gods-eyes-and-on-fire-for-the-lord-or-not/
Picture credit: https://www.google.com/search?q=Image+psalm+16%3A11&tbm=isch&ved=2ahUKEwiNsK-akaHxAhXjGd8KHUijA7AQ2-cCegQIABAA&oq=Image+psalm+16%3A11&gs_lcp=CgNpbWcQA1CdvARY3MMEYPvHBGgAcAB4AIABR4gBxAGSAQEzmAEAoAEBqgELZ3dzLXdpei1pbWfAAQE&sclient=img&ei=9IrMYI3mKOOz_AbIxo6ACw&bih=861&biw=1409#imgrc=sEefuP6zfdCtnM