Sound Mind

Are you dealing with a mess this week?

When all 5 of my children lived at home, I had a serious struggle with the tidiness and cleanliness of my home.  I wasn’t exactly a slob … but my! How I wrestled with stacks of laundry, mountains of unwashed dishes, unmade beds and people clutter that filled every corner of the home.

There were always just so many other things that I desired to do rather than to make a bed or to wipe off a counter top ….

I wanted to read books with my children in the early morning hours right after wiping sleep out of their eyes -

I ached to go for long walks and to discover through their eyes the beauty of God’s creation with these little people that my husband and I had created -

How I loved snuggling with them before they took their afternoon naps -

I longed to look into their little faces and just to simply listen to the wonder of their voices …

I loved playing childhood games with them … drawing sidewalk chalk masterpieces with them … throwing the baseball to them!  None of that was a chore but it was all pure joy!

I was so focused on the delight that I lost sight of some necessary discipline during those years of hands-on mothering.

Now let me assure you that there is absolutely nothing wrong with reading to, playing with and spending time with our children.  Most of us should do much, much more of it.

The conundrum was birthed in my stubborn unwillingness to make sure that my home was free of germs, of disorganization and of yesterday’s mess.

I remember clearly the day when one of my dearest friends said to me, “Carol, one of the ways that you show your family that you love them is by keeping your house clean!”

I heard her! I heard her loud and clear!

Let me ask you again … are you dealing with a mess this week?

I don’t know about you but at this season of life – the biggest mess that I often deal with is the mess that has accumulated in my mind.

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Some of you may have absolutely perfect minds that are free from clutter or from yesteryear’s trash.  You may never think a wrong thought or spend one second on worry or anxiety.

However, for most of us, as we travel through life, our brains get clogged much like the kitchen sink does after a messy cooking spree.  Our minds are filled to overflowing with hurt, resentment, disappointment, failure and rejection.

Our minds were never meant to be sewers of mental excrement but if you and I are not careful … that is exactly what will happen!

If we spend too much splashing in the unpleasant details of the past … or in snuggling up to worry … or in refusing to tackle that mountain of blame … our minds will become cluttered, dusty and messy.

“God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power and love and a sound mind.” – II Timothy 1:7

God wants you to live a powerful and a loving life and the way that He has enabled you to live in that sparkling clean mental residence is through the miraculous cleaning energy of a sound mind. 

The word for “sound mind” in the Greek can also be translated as “discipline”.

You need to exhibit discipline between your two ears!

Now … there may be other activities that try to distract you from this important task  - but stay focused and do the hard work that it entails to drain your brain of stinkin’ thinkin’!

“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses, we are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.” – II Corinthians 10:3-5

If your mind has become a messy, messy place, let me assure you that YOU are actually not your problem! You are in a spiritual battle with the enemy who would love to clog up your brain with his perspective on a situation. 

We walk in the flesh but we fight in the spirit!  We are unable to clean up our thought life with drugs, with neurological reconnections or with a lobotomy!  According to Paul and the Holy Spirit – we must attack the mental bacteria in our brains with something that is “divinely powerful”!

The best translation of this phrase “divinely powerful” that I have ever encountered is found in these two words:  ABSOLUTELY GOD!

We need a fighting technique that has not one bit of our flesh in it but that is all God from start to finish! 

There is only one way that you will ever be able to take back the real estate in your brain that the enemy has endeavored to control and that is through the miraculous cleaning and fighting power of the Word of God!

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You are unable to take the lies of the enemy captive with human thinking no matter how positive or noble it may be. What you need is something DIVINELY POWERFUL that will clean the unchecked mess that you have allowed to accumulate in your gray matter.

Let me give you some examples that might help you out here …

When the enemy comes against you in the area of finances and with thoughts of lack, you need to wipe those thoughts out with the bleaching power of the Word –

“But my God shall supply all of my needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:19

When the deceiver of the brethren tells you that you are worthless and that no one will ever love you or appreciate you – you need to clean out that decaying mental cavity with God’s opinion on the matter –

“The Word of God says that I am royalty and that He chose me for His own possession!” – I Peter 2:9

When Satan torments you with thoughts of cancer, diabetes and other diseases, respond with this mental prescription:

“The Word of God says that He is the Great Physician and that by His stripes I am healed! He heals all of my diseases!” – I Peter 2:24 and Psalm 103:3

It’s time for us to clean up the mess that we have allowed to inhabit every corner of our thought life! 

The way you can clean up your brain is by thinking the very thoughts of God Himself!

Wow!  What a wonderful possibility!

Thanks for listening to my heart this week.  As you know by now, my heart is truly not a perfect heart but it is a heart that is filled to overflowing with gratitude for the life I have been given and for the people who walk with me.  And, it continues to be a heart that is relentlessly chasing after God and all that He is!