I am a planner. I am a do-it-yourself-er. And I often do something myself because I am efficient and know that I can get it done quickly. I have ideas. Lots of them. And lots of them are ideas I would consider good. But with my problem-solving nature, I tend to run ahead. Far, far ahead. I think it is a coping mechanism, really. It makes me feel more in control in an out-of-control situation to plan and figure it out. Even if the plan I come up with isn’t one that will actually come to pass, it still gives me some sense of control. For example, when we were having to short sell our house a few years ago, I was distraught and overwhelmed. So I would spend hours upon hours looking at rental homes. We weren’t quite yet ready to move because we were waiting for someone to buy the house, but it made me feel better to look at “solutions.”
This morning, I sat thinking and praying about a situation I am in right now regarding school. Basically, a decision made today that is out of my control could potentially affect whether I attend school this fall or not. So as I sat and prayed, I told God what I wanted to happen. I told Him how I thought it would work out and if He could please work it out. Now, sometimes God asks us for specifics and wants us to pray for the details. But in this moment, I believe I was just instructing God on what I wanted Him to do. I was praying for provision and favor, yes, but I also was not resting in His divine control of my life.
So when I turned to today’s reading in Jesus Calling and it was talking about taking your thoughts captive, I knew it was not a coincidence that I decided to read that. But the thing that was the most compelling and piercing to my heart was this:
The battle for control of your mind is fierce, and years of worry have made you vulnerable to the enemy. Therefore, you need to be vigilant in guarding your thoughts….You are not alone in this struggle for your mind. My spirit living within you is ever ready to help in this striving. Ask Him to control your mind; He will bless you with Life and Peace.
And went on to quote Romans 8:6:
The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace.
And it was then that I realized that I am striving, yet again, to do it on my own. I often struggle with my thoughts – I worry. And when I think of the “take your thoughts captive” verse, I often felt a bit short handed when it comes to the how. Its not so easy to just say to oneself, “This thought is not righteous. I will stop thinking it and forget it.” Frankly, its downright impossible most times. Sometimes, I can recognize the error in my thinking and speak scripture to myself to remind myself of the truth. But many times, the fear and worry comes from unknown. Yes, I know God says He will provide, but will He provide for school? If He doesn’t, what does that mean?
A mind controlled by the SPIRIT provides us with life and peace. It is daily that I have to surrender to trust that God will provide but then also let the Spirit control my mind. I no longer have to strive; I can let the Spirit govern my thoughts. So in a moment of fear and worry, I can pray, “Spirit, show me what is true and help me to overcome what is false.” Is it easy? No! Am I still scared? Yes. I think we need to acknowledge our humanness to worry and wonder. So while I trust God 100% and if I don’t go to school this fall, I will be bummed, but blessed be the name of the Lord.
We can come to God and admit our human emotion and ask Him how to come through it. God built us with emotion, so let that fear and worry drive you to Him. Let God show you your wrong thinking and then ask Him what the truth is. He will show you.