Healing of the Mind Pt 4: Get Zoned IN
September 23, 2020
Healing of the Mind
Pt.4: Get Zoned In
Colossians 3:2-17, 1 Peter 5:6-10
And set your minds and keep them set on what is above (the higher things), not on the things that are on the earth. Colossians 3:2 AMPC
My inner environment creates my outer world, and I cant expect harmony on the outside when there is discord within.
Just like anything, we may be able to think the right way for a time, but fall back into old patterns of thinking. I we want to see lasting change in our mind and our lives, we have to be determined to stick to it.
What does your stream of consciousness sound like?
There are words floating through our minds at all times; some are good and purposeful, and others are not. My mental monologue generally contains too much self-focused and self-defeating babble.
“What a stupid thing to say!” (Imaginary palm to the forehead.) “Did she just ignore me?” (Anger, followed by a fearful feeling that I am easily forgotten.) “That’s a good idea for a blog post…or maybe it’s just dumb.” (Internal debate.) “I’d like to ________, but I don’t know if I can pull it off.” (Who do I think I am?)
On, and on it goes. It’s exhausting.
Our mind needs a refresher. Maybe you too will benefit from these steps.
Step 1: Ask the Lord to guard and direct your mind.
Our mind is the place of our intellect, reasoning, and intentions; our behavior begins in our mind and our mind is where spiritual transformation happens. The object of my regular thinking will determine how my days, years, and ultimately my life plays out. Everything starts in the mind.
Romans 12:2 ESV Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Too often, we simply don’t bother to ask for the Lord’s protection, direction, and oversight of my mind.
Our Prayer This Day Forward:
We will do my best to start my day with a simple prayer: Jesus, by your Holy Spirit, keep my mind firmly set where you want it to be focused today.
Step 2: Recognize the source of self-focused and self-defeating thoughts.
Given that behavior begins in our mind, and our mind is where spiritual transformation happens, is it any surprise that the adversary wants to mess with our thinking? It must be his favorite first attempt to distract and disarm Christians, and it usually works.
1 Peter 5:6-10 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. ⁷Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. ⁸Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. ⁹Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. ^10And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.
I know who the enemy is, and I also know the only One who can defeat him.
Recognize the enemy, and fight him with God’s power and with Scriptural truth.
Step 3: Replace self-focused thinking with a God-focused mindset.
After praying for the Lord to protect our mind and recognizing the enemy, We have a choice. Will I train my brain to concentrate on the things of God, or will I let it be consumed by the things of this world?
To focus my mind on God requires some work. If I don’t take purposeful action to set my mind on Jesus Christ, then I’m allowing my mind to go anywhere it wants to go. I know where it will go, and it’s nowhere good. Where is some places my mind goes?
I know myself. So, even when I am fully confident of God’s love and care, I still must decide what I will and will not think about.
Verses that help us set my mind on things above, and not on earthly things:
If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. (Colossians 3:1-2)
For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. (Romans 8:5)
Finally, brothers, 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, think about these things. (Philippians 4:8)
Step 4: Rest in the truth that you are accepted in Jesus Christ.
Through faith in Jesus Christ, we are at peace with God. “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1).
In Christ, we are free from accusation. “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1).
In Christ, we are children of God and heirs along with Jesus. “The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ…” (Romans 8:16-17).
Our identity in Jesus Christ is the central fact that influences our present circumstances and determines our eternal future, and it is available by faith alone. Don’t doubt; don’t wonder; don’t question it.
Accept God’s gracious gift, and rest in it.
Step 5: Repeat steps 1-4 daily.
By using these five techniques, I hope that the next time we feel inadequate, ignored, or we question our ability, let’s test our thinking. Is this God or is this the adversary? God doesn’t condemn us, so I know that thoughts of self-condemnation are not from him. There is no fear in God’s love, so when I feel afraid or defeated, I can safely ignore those thoughts too.
Ultimately, God wants us to be transformed to be like his Son, Jesus. Jesus did not engage in the type of mental wars that I’ve described—he was totally focused on the will of the Father. Because that was true of him, it will increasingly be true of us…and someday, that work in us will be complete.
How do you keep your mind from dwelling on unhealthy, untrue, or distracting thoughts?