Mind Game

Have you ever felt distracted? You’re supposed to be focused on something of great importance, yet your mind is wandering, drifting away with your head in the clouds rather than on the task at hand. The great challenge of every Christian is the battle to bring our minds into full the submission of Jesus.

This is so great a struggle because we have a natural way of thinking, before Christ we all were thinking, living, functional humans, but now we are called to live differently. Actions and attitudes that were natural before Jesus are now being revealed by His Spirit as sinful and He is calling us to repent and change.

Romans 8:5-6 (NLT) Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit.  So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.

A good test of how you are doing spiritually is examining where your mind tends to naturally drift to. Do you naturally think about the Kingdom of God? Your prayer list? People who have needs that God could help you meet? Do you think about worshipping Jesus and growing closer to Him?

Most of the time our mind doesn’t naturally drift to those things, but rather the issues of our daily life and many times our mind would quicker drift to sinful things than holy things. The bad news is that thinking on sinful things inevitably leads to death, but the good news is we don’t have to allow our mind to stay that way. Through the power of the Holy Spirit we can take every thought into captivity and renew our mind to think on Godly things! (2 Corinthians 10:5, Romans 12:2)

1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 (NKJV)Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.

I believe God is calling this generation back to holiness. In a world that is becoming increasingly comfortable with sin, God is searching for those willing to put to death all forms of sinful activity and truly pursue Him whole heartedly. Praise God that the as surely as He calls us, He is faithful to provide us with the power and resources to fulfill that call!

John 6:35 (NLT) Jesus replied, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.

Jesus is our supply! When we abide in Him and seek our nourishment from Him we will have all we need to be satisfied. We will have all we need to stand on the truth of His word and proclaim the gospel in our community. We will have the power to turn our minds over to His Spirit, rather than be dominated by sinful thoughts.

Romans 8:12-14 (NLT) Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.

I love the part that says we have no obligation to do what our sinful nature urges us to do. The enemy wants to lie and make you believe that you are forever a slave to your own desires, but through the power of God you have the power to fully put to death that sinful nature inside of you. You can be free from that addiction, from that attitude, from those words that slip out.

Whatever struggle you find yourself dealing with, know that you can be free. Don’t just allow your mind to drift to whatever comes natural. Turn every thought over to the Lord today and bring them into submission to the lordship Jesus.

Don’t Play With Fire!

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Have you ever been told not to play with fire? What did you do? If you’re like me, I bet you played with it anyway! Who hasn’t melted that plastic spoon over the candle during a Banquet. Fire is fun! Fire is awesome. Fire is also incredibly dangerous and can be a source of great destruction. Are you afraid of fire? Probably not, but most of us eventually come to a place of respecting the fire and treat it with careful consideration.

It is interesting to me that scripture refers to God as a consuming fire.

Hebrews 12:20 (NKJV) For our God is a consuming fire.

Leviticus 9:24 (NLT) Fire blazed forth from the Lord’s presence and consumed the burnt offering and the fat on the altar. When the people saw this, they shouted with joy and fell face down on the ground.

I share this scripture because it so beautifully depicts God as an all consuming fire. I love how the people were filled with joy, yet they also fell down on their faces in reverence to God.

This is to me, a picture of what the fear of the Lord should look like. The fear of the Lord, is something that has often baffled me. Because obviously, God is love! The Bible even tells us that we shouldn’t have a Spirit of fear (2 Timothy 1:7). So I never fully understood scriptures telling us we should have a fear of the Lord.

Psalm 111:10 (NLT) Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true wisdom. All who obey his commandments will grow in wisdom.

Psalm 33:8 (NLT) Let the whole world fear the Lordand let everyone stand in awe of him.

Surely it doesn’t mean that we should be trembling with fear of our loving God? Or maybe it does Matthew tells us we should fear the one who can destroy both soul and body in hell! (Matthew 10:28). That’s pretty terrifying.

It is when I put it in the context of fire that it makes sense to me. We shouldn’t walk around terrified of God, but like the fire we should treat God and His presence with great care.

2 Corinthians 7:1 (NLT) Because we have these promises, dear friends, let us cleanse ourselves from everything that can defile our body or spirit. And let us work toward complete holiness because we fear God.

This is why I believe that it is the fear of the Lord that leads to wisdom. Like fire we know that God is not something to be played around with. We accept His free gift of salvation, but now we must turn from our sins. We must approach His presence with awe and reverence. We should seek to live in such a way that honors Him completely.

Today is a great time to ask yourself if you’ve lived your life with a healthy fear of the Lord. Are you seeking to live in a way that truly honors him? Not just in avoiding sin, but in the attitudes you have and the way you speak to people?

Maybe throughout this post you’ve realized you don’t fear the Lord in the proper way. Don’t be discouraged, simply ask God to help you develop a renewed fear of the Lord and remember….

Don’t play with fire.