The battlefield is indeed the mind. Recently, I listened to a Tim Keller sermon called "Sin as Slavery." Toward the end of his message, he offers verbal substitutions for a multitude of "if only's" that we may find ourselves repeatedly processing in our minds that may blur our focus on God.
I'll offer a few examples:
If only I had a better job...
If only I were married...
If only my kids behaved better...
If only my friend didn't have to move out of state...
If only I could go back to school...
If only my mom were still alive...
If only he would forgive me...
If only I had made a different decision...
If only God would save her...
I am learning that when I meditate on, yearn for, and deeply desire my own specific solutions (even those solutions confirmed to be God's will) to what may plague my heart, I am unwittingly usurping God's prominent, centered place inside my very soul (heart, mind, emotions). It can be an idolatrous, slippery slope.
Does this mean we shouldn't pray specifically? Of course not. But I want to develop a new game plan centered on trusting God no matter how He ties up or seems to leave dangling the loose threads of my life.
What if my if-only's were saturated in my desire for Him? Were focused on His very character? Pointed to Him? Do you think that my desire for God would increase and my desire for x, y, or z solutions would decrease? Would centering God to this extent radically change how I experience life? Would it ignite my spirit and magnify my appetite for Him and His Word? Is this the foundation for trust?
I saw the Lord
He were close to my heart
I could feel Him to be as great as I know Him to be
I could sense His grace and taste the sweetness as I know it to be
I could feel His love, His touch, His embrace as I know He longs to give
I could hide in His shadow and feel His peace
I could satisfy myself by His Word as He intends it to satisfy me
I could see Him defending me, protecting me, and waging war on my behalf
He were the one and only true King of my heart
His love so melted my heart with appreciation and gratitude
I repeatedly rehearsed His past miracles over me
His Living Water flowed powerfully through my veins
His Holy Spirit burned magnificently inside of me
Jesus’s sufferings proved it all to me
My prayer: Lord, help me to place You at full center of my soul. Increase my faith. Teach me to trust You and hunger only for You...come what may. Amen.
For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
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