Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Disciplining Our Thoughts

Today in “Jesus Calling” Sarah says, “Discipline your thoughts to trust Me as I work My ways in your life.” I don’t know about you, but there are times when I find this a struggle, especially when situations press in over a period of time for which I have no answer. In my mind I know without any doubt that God knows exactly what is going on, that He doesn't go on vacation or take a break, and that He is immensely faithful. I know that He loves me and my family deeply and He is concerned over those things which I am concerned about. I know that He sees far more clearly and He knows the outcomes exactly. And I also know that He makes it so that I can endure whatever test or trial that He allows through His filter into my life, making me even able to combat the temptations of my heart.

Yet in these times my heart yearns for a solution or resolution to whatever is pressing in, and I want to say “But God?” My heart desires answers, and then in my mind I start to work out solutions. And when I try to work out those solutions in my own mind I find that I can get frustrated by my apparent lack of answers or dissatisfaction over my lack of a solution. This does not mean that I can’t figure things out apart from sitting down and praying, but it does mean in those times when stuff gets heavy and I tell myself that I have to carry the load that I often sense at some point my inadequacy to do so. In many ways I can be thankful for this, for it is most often here that my mind comes back to God, and I admit that my life is intended to live in dependence on God and in submission to His direction. It is here that I find my heart begins to come around and peace settles back in.

Paul talks about an aspect of this struggle in relation to the desires of the flesh in Romans chapter 7:14-25, and then continues with some powerful truths pertaining to the ability to live victoriously in Christ in chapter 8 of which I will only include a few verses. But I would encourage you to open your Bible and read the whole thing.

Romans 8:1-2 Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.

Romans 8:6 For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace,

Romans 8:11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

Romans 8:14-18 For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

Romans 8:26-28 In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

Romans 8:37-39 But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

These verses are an incredible reminder of the truth that God is involved in our lives to make it so that we can live victoriously for Him despite the battles that might wage in our hearts and minds. He is powerful over them, and He makes us able.

In Philippians 4:6-7 we read, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

As we approach God in prayer, knowing that we have confident access to Him through the power of His Son—Jesus Christ, and that the Spirit of God—the Holy Spirit—is active in those prayers, we know that the God who created heaven and earth and who holds the entirety of it under His control is our God and that He hears our prayers and will answer them. And in that I can bring my heart and mind together and keep trusting for the next step.

Today He reminded Robin and I of this in a couple of very tangible ways, and in this we give Him praise.

Today in “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young (7/2)

Let Me show you My way for you this day. I guide you continually, so you can relax and enjoy My Presence in the present. Living well is both a discipline and an art. Concentrate on staying close to Me, the divine Artist. Discipline your thoughts to trust Me as I work My ways in your life. Pray about everything; then, leave outcomes up to Me. Do not fear My will, for through it I accomplish what is best for you. Take a deep breath and dive into the depths of absolute trust in Me. Underneath are the everlasting arms!

Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for to you I pray. In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation. Psalm 5:2-3

The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms. He will drive out your enemy before you, saying, “Destroy him!” Deuteronomy 33:27

No comments: