“Get in, get out,” I had been subconsciously repeating this phrase while weaving through what seemed like endless alleys of claustrophobic shops. My ponytail was a mess from my motorcycle helmet, my clothes were sticky with sweat and my eyes were near lifeless as I stepped into the shop I had been looking for. The saleswoman, a middle-aged Khmer woman about the same age as my mom, turned to me, saw my composure and matched it. Adjusting from energy to gloominess, hear eyes revealed exhaustion as she asked me what I needed. I saw the transformation in her and realized that my attitude had influenced it. I had created an atmosphere of negativity! GROSS! I made an adjustment in my heart, made loving eye contact and smiled as brightly as I could. Voila! Her positive demeanor returned as she returned my smile and began helping me with my purchases.
On the way out she kindly asked me if I would see my family for Christmas and instantly, my eyes filled with tears. I was shocked and deeply moved that she cared enough to ask me about my family. I was surprised that she cared about me at all. She silently pulled out a tray of tiny silver rings just my size, selecting the most beautiful one she said, “I would like to give you this as a gift. Happy Merry Christmas.”
Something significant happened in my heart in that moment. It felt like finding true North. I knew my internal compass had been spinning but suddenly I felt it recalibrate. I had been reset in two things; my beliefs and my love.
Power of Your Beliefs.
For the past year, I have had the honor of partnering with Patricia King Ministries. Her team functions in extreme faith and we talk a lot about how we are made in the image of the Creator, thus we are creators (Gen. 1:26-27). One of the ways that we create is through our beliefs (Prov. 23:7a). Our beliefs have the power to create reality. Knowledge is stored in the thoughts of our head but beliefs are stored in the thoughts of our heart. A lot of “spiritual warfare,” is simply the enemy’s attempt to keep what God has said in the “knowing” of your head and away from the believing of your heart. This is because as soon as the God thought makes its way into your heart, it begins creating a tangible reality on the earth. You are accountable for what you know but you create what you believe.
Power of Protecting Your Love.
Some of the best advice I’ve ever been given came from my friend and brother, John Boyer. Our lifestyle in Cambodia is full of radical ups and downs, often within the same hour, and through it all his wisdom has become an anchor for my heart. I admit, when people share about having the Father’s heart for Cambodia, I’ve caught myself reminiscing about the good ‘ol days when that came easily for me. After having lived here a couple years, I’m more annoyed with life here than ever. It is in that honest place that his words carry the most weight, “Protect your love for people.” Sure, be annoyed. Sure, be honest. Sure, hate the things that God hates in the society. But those emotions do not get to rob us of our firey and passionate affection for people.
“Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life…”– Prov. 4:23
We have to settle it in our mind that we are committed to seeing our significant other, family, society, church, country, and others the way the Father sees them.
As kings and priests, we ask to receive His heart, write down His words, meditate on it and decree it until it goes from our head to heart.
When we agree with God in our belief, our faith creates it on the earth.
But here’s the best part for me right now; When belief enters our soul it doesn’t just affect our will, (I will do all of the love stuff because I’m committed but my emotion is uninvolved). No! True belief in our soul influences our thoughts, imagination, and emotions too!
In all of the messiness of life, we are called to keep our love on both in action and affection.
We protect our love by guarding what we believe about others.
The moment that woman handed me the ring, I felt so loved that my beliefs about Cambodia were challenged. I didn’t realize I had picked up so many negative beliefs about the society until I was confronted with shocking love, generosity, and kindness. I didn’t realize that my negative experiences here had turned into beliefs about the nation which in turn were creating my reality. I didn’t realize my love had grown cold and become a sacrificial duty rather than a heart expression of affection. This evening I’m asking Holy Spirit to share His truth with me and I’m writing out my beliefs about the nation so my mind and emotions can be renewed in love. The ring isn’t only perfectly my style, it is a reminder for me to protect my affection and belief for Cambodia.
Have your beliefs caused your love to grow cold towards others? Have you been going through the motions of love in commitment but without emotion? I want to encourage you to not only commit to love in action but also love in affection. Ask Father to reveal your beliefs to you. Repentance is a joyful experience when it means turning to face the Father! Let’s partner with Him in our beliefs about others so we can create His kingdom on the earth!
Written by: Ana’Leah Leal
Published on: 12/1/2017