Romans 7:22-25 (NLT)
I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.
When my kids were little and they could not find something in the toy box, they would take to dumping all the contents on the floor. Rummaging through the contents until they found what they were looking for. Our oldest daughter had a firm attachment and long-lasting addiction to her pacifier. When it was time to take it away, which was well past the recommended age, she would go in her room and begin to dig through her toy box which yielded three the first day. I loaded everything back into the pink and white chest thinking surely she had gotten them all. The next morning after hearing a ruckus coming from her room, I went back in to find her happily enjoying a disgusting dust covered “binky” that she had dug out from under her bed. This went on for a week until she had found every single one that she had lost over the years. My poor baby was so upset when she finally realized there were no more to be found. Each time I found her searching for another one in pure desperation, my heart went out to her. She had no way to know that this was good for her and her newly formed teeth. All she knew is that she wanted it, it brought her comfort, and when she was unsettled it was her peace. When it was gone, she was desperate to find it again with urgency and commitment to the pursuit.
When I awoke to the sounds of pumps and monitors in our son’s hospital room, I was desperate. Lack of sleep makes me ornery on every level already, and I have been here almost two weeks. The constant unknown of the radical effect of the high dose chemotherapy is wreaking havoc on his body and I hope killing every cancer cell hiding there. I am tired not just in my body but my mind as well. How much longer must I hold on until my help comes? I am battling with my mind to stay peacefully positioned rather than this current state of chaos that has me so frustrated. I am in need of His Peace today not for the outcome but in this moment for this hour. I want to complain. I want to be mad. I want to hold a grudge. I want to acknowledge that this is not fair. I do not want to be here anymore. I am so tired of seeing my son suffer through this, I need some relief. I need to be set free. It begins with my mind.
I do love God’s Word with all of my heart. It is law, yes. But I do not mind because it has never once failed to bring me instruction, encouragement and more. But there is most definitely another power at work within me that wants me to forget about faith and release the confident hope that I have found in Jesus Christ. My sinful nature is sick of being laid low by the Holy Spirit and bound by His Word so it fights back constantly against the new man rising up within me. I am my own worst enemy at times. Lord, you have given me your power. Today I am desperate for you. So as I dig in your Word, stirring up your Spirit who lives in me, set me free in my heart and mind to be at peace in you today. I need you, Jesus.
2 Corinthians 10:3-6 (NLT)
We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do. We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ. And after you have become fully obedient, we will punish everyone who remains disobedient.
I don’t want to feel this way. I hate feeling this way. When my mind is not right, and I feel out of sorts I must find my foothold on faith and grab hold of confident hope once more. The enemy roams the earth like a roaring lion seeking whoever he can devour. The problem is that he is a toothless and clawless predator who is powerless to take over your life. The only way that he gains control is if we as believers give it back to him. God’s Weapons are His Word and His Spirit with both of these powerful partners working in our life – we can beat the enemy at his game of lies and deception each and every time. If that thought that is causing me to be frustrated, discontent or worry is not brought under subjection to God’s Word and Spirit – it is rebellious in nature and will lead to disobedience. It becomes doubt that keeps us from knowing God’s Glory and Power in our life until dealt with severely. Whenever I caught my little girl with a newly rediscovered pacifier happily enjoying it, she would pop it out of her mouth and hand it to me automatically. She knew that she was not supposed to have it. So she easily gave it up. Now that is not to say that she immediately felt better or did not dissolve into a puddle of tears right in front of me. My heart felt so bad for her obvious distress. I wanted to cry every time. But my head knew it was the best thing for her, so I stood my ground and did it anyway. God is doing the same thing in my life. He wants my life to be as He designed it to be. Every blessing and promise are essential in His Plan to perfect my existence both now and forever. There will be hardships, trials and heartbreaks alone the way as my old nature gives forth to the new creation that the Lord died for me to be. I must remember that God ALWAYS has something better in mind for me. (Hebrews 11:39-40) He is ready to do more than I could think to ask for. (Ephesians 3:20) His Ways and Thoughts are so much higher and better than my own. (Isaiah 55:9) God has already thought this thing through. He knows the best outcome. He is working every detail for our good. (Romans 8:28) My only responsibility in this operation is to have faith. Surrendering my thoughts for His Thoughts and allowing His Spirit to lead the Way!
But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you. I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.
I have the Holy Spirit inside of me. No really I do. I remember thinking a long time ago when I first got saved how silly this was. The voice I hear is my own. My morals directly impact my attitude and actions not some spirit lingering on the inside of me good or bad. Well, that was then and this is now. The Spirit of God does live inside of me. His Voice is real. His Interaction in my life valid. He makes my faith genuine. He reinforces confident hope. He is the Lord’s Representative in my life sent as an Advocate. The Holy Spirit will teach me about God my Father expressing His Love directly to my heart. His Spirit reminds me. Of what? The Word that I choose to tuck in the folds of my heart and recesses of my mind for rainy day use. When the Father, Son and Spirit are active in my life of faith and confident hope, I will have peace of mind and peace of heart. Both are of equal importance. Peace is a gift given to us by the Lord. If we do not have it, it is simply because we choose not to receive it. The Holy Spirit transforms the way that we think to line up with God’s Word, Will and Way. (Romans 12:2) The Holy Spirit will renew our thoughts. (Ephesians 4:21-24) Our thoughts were at one time separate from God’s because of our sinful nature. (Colossians 1:21-22) But now we have the capacity to know His Thoughts and use them to be like Him. (I Corinthians 2:11)
Matthew 22:36-38 (NLT)
“Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?” Jesus replied, “‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.”
I love the Lord emotionally (with my heart). I love Him spiritually (with my soul). I must learn to love the Lord God consciously. What is the difference? Do you believe in love at first sight? I loved my husband from our very first date. I really wasn’t sure why I did, just knew that I did. In fact, on an outing with friends right before our first date I told my friend that I was going to marry this guy. She said, “No you’re not, you don’t even know him.” Something in my heart and soul connected with this individual. But now after fifteen years of marriage, I know that I love Him. Once the emotion of love wears off, we must work on the commitment to love. Love is not always fun. It takes a great deal of work. We must surrender our way to walk with another. Sound familiar? It is. We must decide to love God with our life and live what we believe.
Philippians 4:6-8 (NLT)
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
I woke up this morning in need of repair. So as I fix my thoughts on what is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely and admirable – I always find myself in the Word of God and spending time in His Presence with His Spirit. It is in this place that I bring Him all my cares and worries wrestling with myself to leave them there and accept His Peace that He so graciously offers as a guardian for my heart and mind. When I am troubled as I was today, He is not mad at me in my weakness but embraces honesty. When I think about Him, I begin to experience the excellence of His Grace and Mercy. Praise is the evidence that there has been an exchange of my rebellious thoughts for the Mind of Christ. I have now freed my mind. His Peace is overwhelming as it chases the darkness with His Light. I am not afraid. I am no longer agitated. I am full of faith. I am hope full, too. All because He has freed me from the inside out. I am free!
John 8:36 (NLT) …So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.
2 Corinthians 3:17 (NLT)
For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.