Already days into the New Year of 2019 and I find my heart overflowing with unspeakable joy in the presence of our Heavenly Father – with gratefulness for simply everything! As I look back through the past year and see all the changes in our lives with all the beautiful blessings we have received. I also see the many ups and downs and bridges that we have crossed together – while walking with our Shepherd who has never left our side…and who calls us by name! Simply blows me away!
As I have become more aware of the daily battles we face that seem to begin in our minds – these battles are a mixture of voices that speak of both the highs and the lows – and with longings of both good and bad. Which come easily to us – as they pour into our hearts and rest there – seemingly as truth. As it says in the book of Proverbs, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life!” Why? Because it’s our life source both physically and spiritually – through the blood. It is also the place where Jesus sits enthroned once we accept Him as our personal Savior. Of course, the goal of these thoughts and voices, which seem to move so freely throughout our minds; is for us to become off focused and out of balance, so we start questioning – sowing seeds of doubt. Sounds simple doesn’t it? But it’s deadly. As I have shared with the Women in my Small Group that Satan believes God’s Word more than we do…because He knows without a doubt – that God’s word is trustworthy and true and that He keeps all His Promises!
So on this day – I am able to see more clearly that the battle we face is between our mind and our hearts – battling for the position to ultimately take control of our lives! Yes! They are like enemies warring against each other. The Word of God warns us to take our thoughts captive in the name of Jesus. It also encourages us to stand firm and don’t go back into the captivity that had enslaved us. And where is our Heavenly Father looking? He is always looking at our hearts! And who is whispering thoughts of doubts into our minds trying to turn and entice us away from the truth – feeding our pride, our wants, and our needs – to be able to capture our hearts? It is the evil one who knows our weaknesses and vulnerabilities – because we are human and he knows that we have been given the gift of choice – free will – with the ability to choose without restraints…
A short time ago I read this sentence* “When the desire of our heart is to be in the presence of our Heavenly Father – without all the distractions – our mind is the hardest area to shut down and control.” Wow! It was as if a light was turned on in my mind enabling me to really see with new eyes. As because of these voices – our mind literally stops us from being able to clearly hear the voice of the Holy Spirit as, sadly, it becomes muffled and drowned out! And even our ability to simply sit still without hearing the army of thoughts coming through our minds – one after the other – is almost non-existent. Thoughts such as…“I need to call the Doctor to make an appointment” or “Should I start the laundry?” “Don’t forget you have a meeting with a new client today;” “Wow! What am I going to wear?” Oh yes! “Don’t forget to add this to your list” while asking ourselves, “Did I remember to turn off the lights?” and “Hey! What’s for dinner tonight?” Yes! The barrage of thoughts are never ending! Sadly, what these thoughts are able to do – if we do not take authority over them – is to slowly move us away from the intimacy that we are longing to have with our Heavenly Father – to be able to sit in His Presence and share our lives heart-to-heart within our cherished relationship. Which then rolls over into all of our relationships, as we find ourselves caught-up within the natural bent as humans – forgetting why we are even here – as our hearts become compromised with detours – and therefore – we are no longer functioning as designed by our Creator – which is to live our lives – abundantly, joyfully, and freely with Him!
My prayer for us is to choose to surrender everything, and everyone, into the hands of our Heavenly Father – so that our minds and our hearts will begin to “speak with one voice.” As this is how Jesus lived when He walked here on earth. It says within the Word of God that Jesus drew apart from his disciples, and away from the noisy crowds, to go up the mountain to pray and to spend precious solitary time in the presence of His Father – because He and His Father are One. To become rejuvenated and uplifted in His Spirit to help Him walk here on earth as Son of Man. As He needed to hear the voice of His Father – because He did not speak on His own – but spoke only His Father’s will…ultimately for us! Oh! Let this be the same for me and for us.
Yes! It’s real! There is a constant battle going on in our minds and within our hearts – every day – asking us to make choices – to choose either life or death. As our Savior is always reaching towards us to take our hand in His – to steady our walk over the rough and unknown terrain – tendered with His grace, mercy, and love – as He is our Hope! To believe in Him while stepping above the sounds and voices that distract us. Yes! Above the wind of adversity – and away from the earthquakes of unrest – and through the fire of discontentment. We will then be able to walk upright in the warm gentleness of His Light – in quietness and confidence – with the security of His strength intertwined within our natural and spiritual lives here on earth. While being guided by the Holy Spirit with His love and truth – as intricate parts of the Family of God!
“And may the Peace of God, which transcends all understanding, guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus!”
From my Heart…
1 Samuel 16:7; Proverbs 4:23; 23:7; Matthew 14:23; 26:39; Mark 6:46; Luke 5:16; John 10:10; 2 Corinthians 10:4-5; 11:3; James 1:17; 4:7; 1 Peter 5:8-9
*Invitation to Solitude and Silence by Ruth Haley Burton