Last week was busy, I had no time for blogging! Praise the Lord for all the opportunities He gave to spend with family and friends!
I am taking one more week before writing the next Mark study post because I’m still in the process of completing the study myself and catching up on my One Year reading plan of the Bible.
I did want to share some thoughts I’ve been having recently, so this morning’s Devotional blog will focus on that. My thoughts? Capturing Thoughts, What and How to Capture for Christ.
The news in recent weeks has been an emotional driving force I believe for the country as a whole. I think part of the reason for this is because of social media. You can’t cruise Facebook, Twitter, or even Instagram at this point without it somehow being present. Opinion columns, editorials, blogs, tweets, and pictures saturate the screen and keep some of us on edge and tense without any release or rest.
I can’t count how many times I’ve started to voice my opinion in a comment, then cleared it and moved on. Sometimes my opinion stemmed from frustration. Sometimes from anger. Neither of which I could honestly say was covered in love and pointing back to Christ. I confess, sometimes I cleared it because I didn’t want to face any backlash from the opposing viewpoint.
I’m praying to the Lord about that one. About having courage submerged in humility and love. Speaking truth with a humble heart that is focused on His Glory, spoken in the way He has taught.
In a world that seems to be growing in hostility towards Christianity (not surprising because Christ told us this would happen, our Father God allowing it) I found myself restless last night trying to sleep. I kept thinking and wondering “How God? How do you want me to respond to things? Do you want my response? What focus do you want me to have? What are you looking for from me? Do I ignore it? Do I engage in it?”
It’s the age old battle of walking with Christ while living surrounded by the world’s culture. To think we walk with Christ without being affected by the culture we live in is to leave ourselves open to subtle yet devastating attacks by the enemy. This morning these were the answers I felt He lead me to.
My focused thoughts must be on whatever is true. God’s truths. His Word, His promises, and His commands. In my personal walk, the only way I can keep my main focus on these things is to study them. To submerge myself in His Word every day and meditate on His Truths. To keep my eyes open to seeing His Work in the world, because God is working today, right now, in grand and glorious ways.
It also means protecting my thoughts from becoming consumed by whatever is false, whatever is dishonorable, unjust, impure, not lovely, not commendable, and anything that is not worthy of praise. I think this part is harder. Having discernment to know the difference and to know when I am not balanced appropriately in this area. For myself personally, this isn’t just about the news. It’s deeper than that. It’s the thoughts I entertain about my husband, my children, my friends, my neighbors. It’s having to face my own pride and sinfulness. Needing to bow my head in confession and repentance this morning because my attitude in a conversation with my husband was not submerged in love and humility, yet, stemmed on some level from my own agenda and frustration.
Maybe this is how discernment is grown. Realizing my conversation this morning did not come from a place of God’s wisdom, yet from a deadly mix of His Word and my own Opinion.
Transformation comes by renewing my mind. Being in His Word and in Prayer as He tests me, learning more about His will versus my own.
Ultimately, I must seek Christ in all things. I must seek eternal truths over temporal lies. Far easier said than done and I’ll never do this in perfection while living in this world, however, that is what will keep me humbled before Christ. Realizing His Glory over my humanity.
Being slow to speak, or at times, slow to type, is what I am called to do in the midst of my frustration and anger I believe. To speak my opinion in the deadly combination of my frustration while using His Word is a dangerous testimony to leave people with, both believer and non-believer. It makes my belief worthless.
I need to be on guard against my frustration and anger, constantly checking it against scriptures because my anger can easily be directed at a person I am offended by instead of being focused on the offense it is to God. I get angry at a person, yet do not pray for them. Christ tells me to forgive others that I may be forgiven, and sometimes in my flesh I want to skip over that command entirely and try to take the seat of Judge myself.
It’s not only about capturing my thoughts to focus on His Will and His Truths, it’s also about asking for His help to clothe myself according to His Will.
It’s the difficult and often painful process of transformation to look more like Him, putting aside myself and the culture and making His Will and His commands my focus.
Confessing to myself it’s not about me and my opinion – it’s about His Truths and His Glory. I step all over my own toes constantly. Thank you Lord Jesus for your continued testing and revealing of my depth of sinfulness.
At the end of my prayers and thoughts this morning, I found the verse that sums up what I want to strive for this upcoming week. Not only in my online interactions, also in my face to face interactions, especially with my husband and my son.
Last week was busy. This week is busy, however, it also has free moments. I can choose to spend those free moments playing games, knitting, or watching TV, or I can choose to use some of those moments to refresh my spirit in His Word and His Teachings. He leaves the choice to me, and I’m praying for His help to choose more time with Him this week. To step on my own toes and the toes of those around me because of my own agenda a little less, and point to His Glory, His Goodness, and His Will a lot more.
If you too have found yourself struggling with discouragement, frustration, worry, confusion, or anger with life or the current events surrounding us, I would like to encourage you to join me this week in making His word a lamp unto our feet and light unto our path.
In Love & Faith,