In Need of a Little Renewing
In Need of a Little Renewing
Why is it that there are days when it seems almost impossible to focus on what is good? Although we might have 1001 things going great, Satan picks up that one thing that is not great and beats us over the head with it. It swirls and swirls around in our mind making our thoughts anything but focused on what is true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous and praiseworthy. (Philippians 4:8) Well, that is me today. I am laying it down then picking it back up. Kneeling, trusting God, laying it down. Rising, walking away and **poof** - there it is – right back in my thoughts. Then I stumbled across one of my old blog posts - and wouldn’t you know – it was just what I needed to hear. So… as I sit in need of a little renewing, I am taking my own advice. How about you? Are you in need of a little renewing today?
I Can’t Control my Thoughts.
There are days when I wish I could turn my mind off and take a break from the rampant thoughts that swirl around my brain. How about you? Do you feel like shouting, “Help! I can’t control my thoughts.” Let’s dream for a moment. In a perfect world, what would our thought-life look like… or better yet, sound like? Hmmm…well, we would wake up with thoughts of how thankful we are for our Lord and all He has done for us. We would dwell on our blessings and name them in our mind. We would have thoughts of joy and gladness. We would think through our ‘To Do’ list and ask God to help us strategize our plan for the day. We would remember that we are gifted and talented and God has a plan to use us for His glory. We would recognize that the world does not revolve around us – and stop taking things so personally. We would be ready to offer grace and forgiveness. We would have scriptures pasted to the walls of our mind to remind us where our focus should be. We would go to bed at night with peaceful and serene thoughts, content and secure, ready to rest.
Sounds great! But, is that the thought process in our minds? Why it is hard to focus on all that is good in our life – but so easy to focus on what is wrong? Some thoughts can be like a bad stain…no matter how hard we try to get rid of it…it just keeps rising to the top. Now, I am not talking about deep disturbing thoughts. I am talking about the everyday-life thoughts that we allow to steal our focus and our joy. We think about the things that have hurt our feelings. We dwell on our worries. We stress over all that we need to be doing. We assume the motive of others. We over-analyze and question everything. We ponder our insecurities and short-comings. We focus on our fears. We become consumed by thoughts of the pie in the fridge and the potato chips in the pantry. Sometimes our thoughts jump around like a grasshopper and keep our mind cluttered and overwhelmed. This constant dialog that plays over and over again in our mind can leave us throwing our hands in the air and screaming, “Help! I can’t control my thoughts!”
Well, help is exactly what we need. Our friends might think that we need psychological help. Some days our spouse and children may even agree. But the help we need comes from the One who breathed life into us. He knows us. He has told us repeatedly what we need to do. But here we are, defiant children (and we wonder where our kids get it from) continuing to do things our way. Well, I am ready to give up the fight and give in to the One who has already won the battle for me. Are you in? So, where do we begin?
Let’s begin with Colossians 3:2 – God’s word instructs us to “Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.” So, could it be that our priorities are all mixed up? Are we focusing more on things of the earth – our To Do list, our feelings, our desires - and not enough on the things above? I Corinthians 10:5 tells us that we should be “bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ”. Ooh, we don’t do that do we? Let’s pause for a moment and just consider the thoughts we have had so far today. What would the answer be if we were to take them captive and ask ourselves, “Do these thoughts conform to the life and teachings of Christ?” If they don’t, we need to kick them out of our mind and replace them with thoughts that do.
That reminds me…as I was raising my children…whenever they said something sassy or negative I would reply, “Rephrase that!” Or if they were complaining, I would say, “Is what you really meant to say “Thank you for all you do. I am grateful for all I have?” (And yes, I received many eye rolls in return.) But…maybe we should apply that same type of instruction to our thought patterns. We can just choose to rephrase our thoughts and think what we really should be thinking. God instructed us in Philippians 4:8 by saying, “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 good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things.” There you have it! He said it. He wants us to rephrase our thoughts and think true thoughts focusing on all that is good.
I am being convicted as I type. If we were to take our thoughts out and lay them on the table they would look very similar to the thoughts of those who are not seeking to live a Christ-led life. But we know that Romans 12:2 says, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
Let’s begin today to allow our thoughts to be transformed and new. Let’s be obedient children and apply these scriptures daily in our lives. Let’s allow the Holy Spirit to change our thoughts - our beliefs – so that we can change our actions. Let’s stop pleading, “Help! I can’t control my thoughts!” and start praising, “Thank you, Lord for conforming my thoughts to Your teaching and helping me to focus more clearly on You and Your will for my life.”
I believe this one act when done over and over and over and over again will take our life to heights we never even imagined.
Comment below. Let's keep this conversation going. I am in need of a little renewing. How about you?
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