A few days ago, I began the day filled with gratitude with where God has me in life. Not saying life is easy but it’s full and beautiful.
I’m learning a lot. Getting inspired for some new projects. Expectant for things ahead. Stepping out in a few faith-risks.
But then, after some very normal activities and interactions, my thoughts started spiraling into fear and frustration and I ended the day asking “why?”
I know that God’s plan for my life is way better than I can even imagine, so why do I fear things might not work out in ways I think would make me happy? I know His thoughts are higher than my thoughts so why do I doubt who He’s called me to be? I know He will never leave me nor forsake me so why do I feel lonely and isolated even in the midst of community?
I came home to my dear brother and roommate, Caleb, voicing the inner dialogue running through my mind on the way home. “It’s all in your head,” he said. To which I replied exasperated, “Pastor Caleb, (he has a seminary degree) tell me something else!”
My mom said the same thing, as I was on the phone with her, “Have you been reading that book I gave you?” (referring to Get Out of Your Head by Jennie Allen) “No” I confessed, “I was trying to finish the other one I’m on first.”
She reminded me of the spiritual war, we find ourselves in. It’s a constant struggle between the flesh and the Spirit. And more often than not, our battles are fought in the mind.
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may be able to prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect
When I give in to the merry-go-round of anxious thoughts, am I really trusting God is who He says He is? Or am I praying to myself (as my dad describes worry)? Do I believe God is good or, in my pride, do I feel like He’s withholding a deserved blessing (is there really such a thing)?
…for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ…
~2 Corinthians 10:4-5
I confess I haven’t been great at taking those rogue thoughts captive lately. I confess they’ve led my heart into distraction.
My pastor this morning, preached from Hebrews 12:1-3.
Therefore since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith…
Fixing our eyes on Jesus. Taking captive every thought. Throwing off the sin that bogs us down.
We’re meant to run this race with endurance. It’s not efficient to carry things we’re meant to give to God. He asks us to cast our anxieties on Him. He cares for us. He is good. We have to remember that fear is a liar. And doubt can be healthy if we allow it to strengthen our faith. But when we let it pull our gaze from the One who calls and sustains us, we end up miserably relying on our own strength.
His grace is sufficient. My pastor reminded us this morning “Jesus does not regret His work in you, and Jesus will not neglect His work in you”
May we rest in that. May we not be spectators in the battle for our minds; for our minds are the gateway to our hearts. May we CHOOSE to believe God is good and working for His glory. The author and perfecter of our faith will never let us down.
…maybe I should go read that book now…