Week of: March 14, 2011
Sharing by: Pam Crawford
2 Timothy 1:7
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace.
SOUND MIND – BEAUTIFUL MIND
“I think I’m losing my mind!” Have you ever thought it? Have you ever said it out loud? Many of us feel exactly that when we’re overwhelmed by life’s challenges. As someone who has battled different levels of depression; there were times when I have to tell you that I began to doubt my sanity. With all the hormonal ups and downs in my late twenties and early thirties, I often felt like I was going to come out of my skin. I had absolutely no idea what was happening to me. The health care professionals directed me to counseling, rest and medication to take the edge off. Unfortunately, we never really discussed the possibility of an intruder. Now stick with me here.
If you have read God’s Word then you understand that there is a thief that desires to set up shop in our mind, and he often strikes during the different seasons of life. It will be important however to understand that if he can get us to think negative, destructive thoughts, he’s on his way to fulfilling his purpose of destroying us (John 10:10). When we’re not feeling well, are exhausted, disappointed, offended or hurt, we become a prime target. I would encourage you to take good care of yourself and pay attention when you find yourself in this place.
The thoughts that I allowed to take root back in my thirties almost did me in, and I do not desire to go back there. I can’t imagine what shape I would be in today if I had not discovered what I desire to share with you today. Freedom comes when we grasp that “God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” If you’re still with me, let’s hone in on the words “sound mind.”
Beth Moore in her series titled “A Beautiful Mind” shares the importance of:
- Reclaiming our right in Christ to be a free, healthy and a whole person.
- Replacing your spirit of fear with the Spirit of Christ.
- Renewing your mind by loving on the Word of God.
I wholeheartedly agree with Beth’s teaching and I highly recommend the series. The key for me in this teaching was discovering that it is the Word of God that provides constant stability. When we learn how to arm ourselves with God’s truth, we can quickly learn to recognize the deceitful lies that the enemy desires to implant in the mind.
If I could say anything to my young readers at this point, I would echo Joyce Meyer’s words from her book Power Thoughts. She writes, “Your mind can be a junkyard or a treasure chest. You can make it one or the other by deciding whether you will think thoughts that are negative, cheap, common and low or thoughts that are positive, pure, honorable, and valuable in God’s eyes. You can think “power-enhancing thoughts or “power-draining thoughts.” Although we might not always physically feel all that great, our mind can be healthy because God gave us a sound one. Joyce goes onto to say in her book, “Satan, who is the enemy of your soul, will try to control your life by controlling your thoughts (Romans 8:23). Sadly a great deal of our thinking is instigated by the way we have been raised, the world around us, and evil forces at work in the world today, but the truth makes us free. You can learn brand-new ways to think that will change you and your life forever.”
So how can we determine to battle the enemy effectively when he comes after us? First we have to recognize the tactics of this intruder. If you’re a follower of Jesus Christ you can count on the devil’s visit, but you need not fear it. He will generally wait for you to be at a vulnerable place in your life and then he’ll attempt to worm his way in. The good news is that we don’t have to let him in. We can put up the “not welcome” sign. Before I give you some specific thoughts as to how he worms his way in, I would ask for a prayer of protection as I share this devotion. I’m confident that he does not want me to press the send button on this one. You see, not only does Satan hit us when we’re vulnerable, he also chooses to come after us when we’re exhibiting strength for God. Although I am not fearful, I understand the importance of standing guard.
The following are just a few examples of how Satan prefers to enter the mind. Sometimes it can be a very subtle entrance, but generally he prefers to bombard us with feelings of shame and condemnation. At other times, it might be that he gets us to wallow in self-pity or feelings of insecurity or inferiority. He also likes to use rejection and betrayal to get our heads spinning. Sometimes he’ll just use our stubbornness and human pride to gain entrance. It will be in these times that we would be wise to remember one Biblical truth: “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Romans 8:1, KJV).
Believers, by the authority we have in Christ we can claim Romans 8. There we find life and a sound mind with the help of the Holy Spirit. God may choose to convict us of sin in order to get us back on the right track, or to show us the error of our way; but never does He use condemnation. That is a tactic of the enemy. God wants to instruct us, not crush us.
I don’t know about you, but I am so grateful that the God of the Bible declares us “not guilty.” I celebrate that God has offered us freedom from sin and that He gives us the power to do His will. So when Satan tries to sell us his big fat lies, we can simply remind him that we belong to Christ and that he’s messing with the wrong person! Feel free to also remind him with your beautiful, sound mind, that God has made you privy to the end of the story. As I recall it, it goes something like this; God wins, and Satan loses! (Revelation 3:20)
Additional Scripture reading: John 3:6, Acts 1:1-4, 5:1-5.
“A Christian is anyone who has the Spirit of God living in him or her.”