Since today is world thinking day, I thought I would write a small article on the importance of guarding our minds.
Paul tells us in Romans 7:23 “But I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members.” The mind is a battlefield, and we must “let His (Jesus) peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7
Our mindset is can be our greatest strength or our biggest weakness. It determines how we view life, our attitude towards what happens, and how we will react to situations. The mindset we have can hold us back or take us to a higher level.
What are some ways we can ensure our mindset is geared for think about whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise(Philippians 4:8)? What are some characteristics that can take us forward in this battle?
For God gave us not a spirit of fearfulness; but of power and love and discipline. (2 Timothy 1:7)
Fear is the biggest thing that holds people back from never fulfilling the call of God on their lives simply because every time they try to go forward, the devil uses fear to stop them. Is he using fear to stop you?
Whether it’s fear of failure, fear of being laughed at, or fear of success itself, there are an endless amount of reasons why fear is stopping us serving God. Throughout scripture, we find numerous people who faced the same fears as we did, but more importantly we find a God that allowed them to overcome the fears they faced.
David wrote in Psalm 23:4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
In Isaiah, we see a promise from God “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” – Isaiah 41:10
Jesus reminds us that God cares for the birds of the air, so how much more will He provide for His children? “So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows” (Matthew 10:31). Just these few verses cover many different types of fear. God tells us not to be afraid of being alone, of being too weak, of not being heard, and of lacking physical necessities.
God loves you and cares for you!
Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But not with God. Everything is possible with God.” Mark 10:27
Another mindset that holds us back is to have limitations in our faith. There are people who only mop around, claiming to the a victim believing that they are stuck where they are at.
Someone once said, “Why settle to do the great, when God wants you to do the impossible?”
Like fear, the Bible is filled with examples of great people that God used, but they all understood what it meant to be limited.
- Moses felt limited by his ability to speak.
- Gideon felt limited by his 300 men
- The disciples felt limited with the five loaves and two fishes
- Jeremiah felt like he was just a child in Jer. 1
- Paul had a thorn in the flesh; admitted he was weak and trembling in I Cor. 2
But above his limitation Paul took God at His word and says, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Philippians 4:13 It’s not about our abilities but his faithfulness.
Know your direction
The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps. Proverbs 16:9
Having a focused purpose in life makes it so much simpler to overcome obstacles because you know what you are ultimately working for. This is the starting point.
In Jeremiah 29:11 God says “ For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”
When God gives you a vision, it is specific and individual. Although it’s expressly for you, it is also intertwined with His bigger picture. Your job is to obey the vision you’ve received just like mine is to obey the one He’s sent to me. Then, as with Cornelius and Peter, when our worlds intersect, the mission of the Church will be advanced, God receiving the ultimate glory.
Every day there is a new possibility for serving God, but we must watch or mindset and the battle which is raging there. Don’t hold yourself back with senseless limitations and fear just because you don’t know what the future holds.Trust God because if we “Trust in the Lord with all our heart; do not depend on our own understanding.6 Seek his will in all we do, he will direct our path.”