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Friday, September 10, 2010

Battlefield of the Mind

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Sound idiotic? Sure it does. Yet, don’t we flock to the world’s answers for what ails us. Friend, good news, it’s all in the Book. Proverbs 12:25 tells us: Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, but a good word makes it glad.

Mull that a minute. If I hold anxiety in my heart it causes depression.

How does anxiety get into the heart? It is safe to say that since Christ’s death and resurrection, the Christian walk is made and destroyed between your ears. The mind is the key, friend. Do not allow negative thoughts, defeatist thoughts, demoralizing ideas, destructive thinking to dwell in your craniums. This is not a simple matter of the power of positive thinking—that’s the world’s idiotic solution; it is an offshoot of a solid biblical principle: take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. What does that look like in real life?

It’s stinking hard to retrain your thought life.

I will guarantee that if you will do whatever it takes to force negative and sinful thoughts from your mind and replace them with good, godly, productive thoughts, you will see transformation in your life. I say that in full confidence because that’s what the Bible teaches. As I teach my students, practice makes permanent. No time like right now to start practicing.

I detest self-help gurus who tell us that we need to do this, or that, or the other thing but DO NOT TELL US HOW TO DO IT. Their tidbits are useless. Fortunately we serve a loving God; He will not leave us alone to battle it out; He’s already provided a way. Jesus. You do your part in training your mind to think in a transformational way, He will enable you to succeed. Call on Him when you’re overwhelmed. Here’s the amazing part, He even gave us the topics we should fill our minds with.

Philippians 4:8 has the list. “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of a good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—think on these things.”

Write this scripture down and carry it around with you. Check your thoughts: if it isn’t on the list, bat it away and replace it with something on the list. This is how you do it. Every day.

Memorize scriptures, or uplifting hymns and songs of praise. It doesn’t do a whole lot of good to stop thinking negative without replacing the old with the new thoughts. Soon, you’ll be thriving in your thought- life. Anxiety will be far from you. You will find that you think in terms of possibilities rather than why things can’t succeed.

On the day this becomes a realization to you, remember to stop and thank God for His incredible wisdom and for caring about every single detail of your life.


Niki Anderson said...

Excellent! Yes, Deb, the mind is the steering wheel for actions, motives, words, and thoughts. And about your admonition to memorize scripture...this year I committed to memorize a verse a week or a combination of passages totaling at least 52 verses for the year. It's the most beneficial spiritual discipline a person can attempt, because you're embuing the mind with Jesus the WORD.

Debbi said...

Niki: You are correct about memorizing scripture and its impact on the mind. I've been memorizing them as well. Thanks for your comments.

Barbara said...

Debbi, I have the same frustration that you do with self-help gurus. Thank you for providing a practical "how." I am particularly susceptible to negative, glass-half-full thinking; so I'm going to leave the computer after I finish this comment, write down Phil 4:8 on an index card and stick it in my purse. On another note, do you read Oswald's My Utmost? He focused on the "taking every thought captive" verse the other day as well.

Debbi said...

Barb: Yes. I read O.C. daily. He's helped me no end to grow in Christ. Thanks for your uplifting words. Keep looking to the hills, where your help comes from! Blessings, dear Barb.

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