What the Holy Spirit has Shown Me about Realignment
Friday, March 24, 2017
Psalm 119:59a: I considered my ways… (This is a great verse to start with when going through realignment. It says, “I took a good look at myself”.)
Isaiah 30:15, 16, 18 - 21
15 This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength”, but you would have none of it.
16 You said, ‘No, we will flee on horses.’ Therefore you will flee! ...”
18 Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore He will rise up to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for Him!
19 People of Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no more. How gracious He will be when you cry for help! As soon as He hears, He will answer you.
20 Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them.
21 Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it.”
In the Healthy-By-Design “Breakthrough” study I learned that one of the strategies for transformation is Realignment. As I began to ask myself what this could entail, the Holy Spirit led me to study the above scripture from Isaiah, and to look into a comparison between vehicle wheel realignment and my own realignment in my relationship with God, and with my efforts to attain my best health.
My husband is into keeping our vehicles well maintained so I decided to ask him a couple of questions about wheel realignment:
Me: “How often do you get the wheels realigned on our cars?”
Him: “Whenever they need it.” (I didn’t find that answer terribly helpful.)
Me: “Well, how do you know when they need it?” (I knew that there were certain things that could be checked, but I wanted his knowledgeable answer before I did any homework.)
Him: “I can hear it. I can hear it in the noise the tires make on the road.”
Wait. What? Now I was getting somewhere! I recognized that he is so IN TUNE to our cars, and to the way they are supposed to run and sound, that he can immediately detect when the wheels are out of alignment! I long to be this in tune in my relationship with my Lord, and in living my life as he designed me to. I long to be able to recognize and stop as soon as I’m out of alignment, make a few adjustments, and get right back on track.
I pursued my comparison by first looking up the signs of wheel misalignment.
• Squealing tires – is there any comparison here between the wheels of my car and myself? There definitely is! How about when I’m whining and complaining, feeling discontent, and being noisy about letting everyone around me know it! Including my husband, and God. There are plenty of examples in scripture of people who are out of alignment in their relationship with God and loudly complaining. Just check out the story of the exodus of the people of Israel in the books of Exodus Numbers, and Deuteronomy!
• Vehicle pulling to the left or right –this reminds me of verse 21 above. If I’m eating outside of my boundaries by resorting to old habits, or skipping exercise time when I know I shouldn’t, I guess I might be pulling to the left or right, and not listening to the voice telling me which is the right way. There were men of God in the Bible who were examples of this kind of behavior too: Moses (Num. 20:11), Saul (I Sam. 15:9ff). And there are many more!
• Uneven or rapid wear – what’s my scale telling me? Up and down? Lose 2 pounds, gain one, lose one, and gain 2? That looks like pretty uneven wear to me! Am I feeling more winded than I used to when exercising? That looks a lot like rapid wear. When the Israelites were obeying God in the wilderness, their “clothes did not wear out and [their] feet did not swell during these forty years”. Duet. 8:1 – 11 is a great example of keeping God’s commands, and living with “even wear”.
• Your steering wheel is crooked when driving straight - with this sign, I might think I’m going pretty straight on the path; but wait, the priorities and values I’m living by are not the ones I said were very important to my life! Ananias and Saphira thought they were driving pretty straight by donating money from the sale of their land to the apostles. But, their steering wheel was crooked: they got greedy and kept some of the money for themselves. Then they lied! They paid for their misalignment with their lives (Acts 5).
The signs were already pretty convicting! I then went to the list of causes of wheel misalignment.
• Pot holes. Life has plenty of pot holes, doesn’t it? No, I’m not talking about Michigan roads here, although it definitely applies. We so often hit bumps in the road: our employer loads new expectations on us or tells us we’re laid off; a family member becomes ill and dies; or we fly over the literal bumps in the road because we’re in a hurry, and we have a major car breakdown. One of the potholes in my life was being given notice that I had 30 days to find another job because I wasn’t meeting expectations. Misalignment would mean that I would run to food for my comfort in these types of unexpected situations. In II Chronicles 16 Asa, a king who had done “good and right in the sight of the Lord his God”, hit a pothole and turned to an earthly king for help instead of the Lord his God. He had become misaligned.
• Hitting the curb, bumping into concrete parking stalls. I know these happen to me and to all of my Haven sisters. Recently one of our sisters’ husband ran into major health issues and cut short their trip. If I’m in alignment with my God and my values, I will run to Him and to my good health measures when I hit curbs and parking stalls. After the 12 spies discovered the giants in Canaan, Caleb and Joshua said this, “If the Lord is pleased with us, then He will bring us into this land, and give it to us – a land which flows with milk and honey”. Num. 14:8. Hitting the curb didn’t throw them into misalignment!
• Normal wear and tear. There’s nothing profound or unusual about his. I go through normal wear and tear every day. My study into wheel alignment said this, “as vehicles age, rubber components start cracking or lose their elasticity, and ball and socket joints (really, this is talking about vehicles!) develop looseness. They start to give a little more, progressively getting slightly worse over time”. It’s disquieting to think of how quickly my everyday life can pull me away from my time with God, my healthy eating intentions, and my well-planned exercise routine. Did you catch that phrase with me: They start to give a little more, progressively getting slightly worse over time? I can be out of alignment before I’m even aware of changes. David was a man after God’s own heart. Was he just “progressively getting slightly worse” the day his eyes caught sight of Bathsheba? II Samuel 11.
• One other note about the causes of misalignment: Speeding hastens the wear and tear, and makes the consequences of hitting potholes, curbs, and parking stalls all that much worse. Anyone else speeding through life like me? Get off the freeway and think about it!
The final section on my study of wheel alignment took me through all the different items that are checked during a professional realignment. I didn’t study all the terms in depth and learn all their meanings (not learning to be a mechanic here!). What I did, though, was pick an area of alignment in my own life to go with each wheel alignment term. Whether they are exact matches is doubtful, but Holy Spirit used them to touch my heart in this study that He was leading me through. Come through my “wheel alignment” with me. As I look through these areas in my life, I am reminded, “Behold, Thou dost desire truth in the innermost being, and in the hidden part Thou wilt make me know wisdom”. Psalm 51:6
• Steering Center – Can this be anything but looking to God for my daily direction? Am I faithfully taking my quiet time with Him each day? Am I living my identity in Christ because I know my steering is coming directly through the Holy Spirit?
• Camber – How are my eating habits these days? I know what they need to be.
• Caster – Am I sticking to my commitment to my exercise plan?
• Toe – How much water am I drinking? Am I even keeping track?
• Steering Axis Inclination – Am I inclined to give up? How’s my motivation?
• Included Angle – Am I inclined to complain?
• Scrub Radius – Am I including my accountability partner, and other committed sisters, in my walk? Am I being honest with them and myself?
• Riding Height – Scale not moving?
• Set Back – Scale going up? Are some limiting beliefs holding me back?
• Thrust Angle – Am I living with good habits, or angling back toward old one? Where are my values and priorities in all of this?
• Toe Out on Turns – Am I cheating in emotional situations or special events? When the unusual events come in life, where does my plan go?
• Center of the Road – Am I keeping my eye on the center? Is my living going crooked when I think it’s just fine?
Ultimately, am I at peace and satisfied with the direction that I’m going in, and how I’m aligned each day? Is God satisfied or, better yet, well pleased with me?
“God is working in you, giving you the desire to obey Him and the power to do what pleases Him.” Phil. 2:13.
“I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” Phil. 4:13.
“And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” Heb. 11:6.
“Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore He will rise up to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for Him!” Isa. 30:18.
“How gracious He will be when you cry for help! As soon as He hears, He will answer you.” Isa. 30:19b
“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it.” Isa. 30:21
Thanks be to God for His great love and compassion for us!