The battle of the mind

A few days ago, I was refreshed and ready for the fall. I had energy and was ready for the somewhat exhausting days that I knew were ahead. Yesterday, however, I felt like I had been hit with a ton of bricks. Something I had been looking forward to happening did not. I was reminded of a several of my failures all at the same time. Then, I began questioning everything I was doing–if I was equipped, if I had been simply fooling myself. Ever have a day or moment like that? Maybe your whole life seems to be filled with those thoughts.
By the time bed time came last night, I felt utterly defeated. I spoke some of it out loud, and Greg in his loving brevity squelched it a little bit. He basically said (in fewer words) “If you handled something poorly, what can you do but say you are sorry and move on?” Oh yeah.
I then, began to take charge of my thoughts a little bit. I began to examine what I am about to embark on: launching a ministry that will help the discipleship of women in Knoxville. It is not flashy, but it is a necessary part of the life in Christ–discipleship. It is commanded of all of us in Matthew 28:19-20. When you are dealing with the inner life of others and challenging and teaching them them to be dependent upon and grow in Christ, there will be push back and hard times and sometimes avoided phone calls. I have lived it many times this past year. Sometimes when you are the one who is helping someone challenge the deep seated sin in their life, you are not the first one they want to call. You are not running for Miss Popularity. In my flesh, I would always like to run for Miss Popularity in that I want to be loved and appreciated. However, I know that many times the greatest love for others is not always well appreciated because the greatest love points them toward Christ who is the only hope and not toward me making someone feel good in the moment. I know in my own life, I have loved the deep growth I have had in Christ and the freedom in the gospel more than feeling good about my comfort for the moment. So, to love others as myself, I have to move beyond my own self-protection and point them to Christ.
Last night, I realized that the enemy (who loves to steal, kill and destroy) was on the attack–he was accusing me (which is what Satan means–accuser). And, I was buying in hook, line and sinker. In the book I was just reading, the author encouraged the reader to take charge of their thought life. When you have daydream time, he said to put your mind on scripture and truth. I then, began to try that–remembering Philippians 4:8–think on things that are true, noble, good, excellent, praiseworthy, right, honorable, etc. I remembered the gospel–that I am no longer condemned, that I am set free and declared righteous because of Christ’s blood.
Many times the battle is in the mind, and when the stakes are high, the battle intensifies. Please pray for me as I move forward in meeting with the lawyer tomorrow. Please pray that my mind be upon truth and not indulging in the accusations and living in defeat. And, pray to be aware of areas in your life where the battle is hot. It may be accusations of guilt that you are not a good mother or wife or boss. It may be a failed relationship that you are defeated and scared about. It may be fear that plagues you from being obedient to what God is calling you to do. If I were my enemy, fear is where I would strike every time.
The truth about me is that I will fail at some things this year. I will struggle. I will not handle everything perfectly. I will see opportunity to act in sin grow. I must cling to the truth of the gospel and so must you. I must be quick to admit wrong and let go of pride. And, I must humbly ask for forgiveness of God and others as I continue to walk. I must meditate on his truth daily and praise him for all things. I must remember daily Romans 8:1–“Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

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