When life frustrates you, it’s so easy to try to make things happen,

26 10 2011

When life frustrates you, it’s so easy to try to make things happen, pursuing a more complicated course of action (that gives you control) instead of trusting God and working on what He has given you to do.

It seems like most often there is one simple focus that God has put before me. It requires hard work and trusting Him.

This requires real faith.

Do you part. Trust God to do His.

Remember that daily prayer (and time in your Bible) will help you discern what is your part and what is His. Relationships, that are life giving, help and yet they cannot replace you going to God for yourself, about yourself!

Do you part. Trust God to do His.

Where’s my head? Uh, yeah your thoughts matter

13 10 2011

Ok, so rainy days can drift you right off into a day dream while at work. When you snap back into reality you may be asking, “Where’s my head?” The truth is that your thoughts matter!

You might be saying, “I can’t stop thinking about…  There are times that I wonder about… ” I know it can be hard to keep your brain on track.

God gave us a brain for a reason. He does not ask us to stop thinking when we accept Jesus as Savior and worship God as Creator/Redeemer. We are called to do much with the minds that we have been given.

Yet we cannot expect to fully comprehend all spiritual things with the human brain we have been given. If you could fully understand the living God there would be no need to worship Him. A sense of awe and wonder is essential to our existence.

We can set goals and make decisions that determine much of our life. Yet we are not able to think our way to a perfect life.

God created us with purpose. Yahweh God created our mind with purpose. We are created to learn and use what we learn.

The Bible is an inexhaustible resource. It comes from an infinite God. We have an opportunity for the lifelong pursuit of learning more about Yahweh the God of creation.

Is there power in positive thinking? Yes, and much more so in focusing your mind on what the Word of God says.

Thoughts lead to attitudes, which lead to words, which lead to actions, which lead to habits, which lead to lifestyle, which lead to destination. Do your thoughts determine your water level?

“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.” Philippians 4:8 NLT

What are we talking about?

Mind – human capacity for contemplation, judgment, and intention. As intellect, mind makes possible the critical appraisal and selection of differing opinions. In this sense, mind may also describe one’s own mind-set, attitude, or characteristic point of view. In both the OT and NT, ‘heart’ is often used as the equivalent of ‘mind’ and is sometimes translated as ‘mind’.

Think – to form or have in the mind, to have as an intention, to have as an opinion, to regard as (consider), to reflect on (ponder), to determine by reflecting, to call to mind (remember), to devise by thinking, to have as an expectation (anticipate), to center one’s thoughts on, to form a mental picture of, to subject to the processes of logical thought, to exercise the powers of judgment, conception, or inference (reason). Sources available upon request.

“My head hurts” elmer fudd said, but 2 Timothy 1:7 says that God has “not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind.” (or more accurately a self-controlled mind.)

Here’s a few Bible thoughts about this idea of a self-controlled mind:

1 Peter 1:13 So think clearly exercise self control

Matt 15:19 Jesus said, “from the heart come evil thoughts.” NLT So, we should consider that some thoughts like fire: Stop, Drop, Roll!

2 Cor 11:3 I am afraid that just as Eve, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. NIV

1 Cor 8:1-2 Knowledge makes us feel important, it is love that strengthens the church. Anyone who claims to know all the answers doesn’t really know very much.

1 Cor 13:11 When I was a child I thought like a child. When I became a man, I put childish things behind me.

1 Cor 14:20 Stop thinking like children.

2 Cor 10:7 You are looking only on the surface of things. If anyone is confident that he belongs to Christ, he should consider again that we belong to Christ just as much as he.

Rom 12:3 don’t think you are better than you really are

Gal 6:3 If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself.

Eph 4:17 you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts.

Col 2:18-19 delights false humility, worship angels, unspiritual mind puffs him up with idle notions, lost the connection to Christ the Head of the church.

2 Peter 3:1 reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking.

Col 3:1-2 think about the things of heaven

Philip 4:7 God’s peace, exceeds anything we can understand

2 Tim 2:7 reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this.

A couple of questions to ask, in developing a self-controlled mind:

  1. Where did this thought come from? Consistent with God’s word, nature, actions, promises?
  2. Is this thought helpful? Constructive?
  3. What should I do with this thought? Trash it, consider it, shelf it, write it, speak it, act on it.

Here’s a prayer from Pastor Frank Damazio that may also be helpful:

“Lord, I pray that You would help me align my thought life to You. I know my thoughts will determine the level of my spiritual health. Lord, teach me and enable me to control my thinking, to guard my thoughts, and to resist the enemy of my soul.

Convert my mind, alter, and mold my mind according to Your word. Create in me a new thought process, a new thought discipline. Let there be a breakthrough in me to renew my mind and think the thoughts of You!”

Something has to change.

12 10 2011

David was running for his life. King Saul was chasing him with one idea in mind, kill him. From the cave he writes, “When I am overwhelmed, you alone know the way I should turn.” In other words, “God Save Me! Something has to change.”

Psalm 142 and 143 offer us a window into how David talked to God about what he was going through, what he asked God to do, and what he did about it himself.

Have you ever been in that kind of place. “SOMETHING HAS TO CHANGE!”

Here’s the first thing David says to God: “You are my place of refuge. You are all I really want in life.”

That’s weird. Probably would not have been my first response.

Here’s a list of what he asks of God:

Lord “Hear, rescue, bring me out, listen, answer me, don’t put me on trial, come quickly, answer me, don’t turn away from me, let me hear, show me where to walk, teach me to do your will, lead me forward on a firm footing, preserve my life, bring me out of this distress, silence all my enemies, destroy all my foes.”

Here’s a list of what he has done, himself:

I remember, ponder your great works, think about what you have done. I lift my hands to you in prayer. I thirst, I am trusting you, I give myself to you, I run to you, for I am your servant.”

When you read Psalm 142 and 143 a good take away…a good list of how you should respond might be:

Remember, Consider, Pray, Crave, Trust, Give, Run, Serve.

Also, here’s a condensed prayer from Pastor Frank Damazio that sums up our prayer to God in a situation like this:

“In the name of Jesus, I pray with great faith that the new doors You have for my life will open. I will remove all obstacles through faith, prayer, and fasting. By faith, I stretch toward the new challenges You have set before me.

I will not lose heart. By faith, I will destroy any obstacle that hinders progress and I will advance beyond all previous limitations. I will not quit, give in, or give up.

I will not retreat, back off, or step down. I will not shift into neutral, take a break, or do nothing. But by God’s grace, I will break through and move ahead with supernatural strength.”