Friday, March 4, 2011

Things That Enslave

Whoa! I struck a nerve in many of you with my "Mind Your Own Beeswax!" post! And, that's exactly what I meant to do. Thank you for your input. I'll have to say, several of you made me stop and think about my position on unsolicited advice.

I guess the main thing I walked away with is that I need to always consider the motive. Really, that's the bottom line. So, I'm going to strive to do that. I'm going to try my best to ask myself, "Okay, why are they telling me this?" If the answer is that they love me or care about me, then I need to be more open to advice.

Good thoughts, people. Good thoughts! See, I'm always in need of a little refinement! :)

On a totally different note~

Last week, I had the wonderful privilege of speaking to a precious group of ladies. This was one of them:

I can't remember her name for the life of me. She was so sweet. When I finished speaking, she asked in the most candid way, "Lindsey, how can I have joy? I lost my mother and father last year."

I'm always a little caught off guard when people ask me for any advice about how they can change their lives. But, as Christians, we're commanded to always be prepared to give a reason for the hope we have (1 Peter 3:15). So, it doesn't really matter if I'm caught off guard, or not, I must be ready to justify my joy. And, that's not always easy to put into words.

This morning, as I was thinking about this very thing, I thought, "There are so many emotions and feelings that arrest us and cripple us, rather than prepare us to share hope."

Satan's biggest playground is our minds. He seeks out our most vulnerable spots, and starts waging war on our trust, hope, and joy. At least, that's how it is for me.

So, how do we have joy? How do we overcome when Satan is working overtime to overcome us?

Really, it's easy.

Spend more time with God's thoughts than you spend with your own.

Isaiah 55:8-9 says, "For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts."

Our thoughts generally lead us to negative places of fear, defeat, and hopelessness. God's thoughts aren't like that. He tells us to set our minds on things above, not on earthly things (Col. 3:2). And then Philippians tells us in verse 4:8, "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things."

These are God's thoughts. Think them.


Coop said...

Wow, I really needed to read this today to pass it on to someone that is really hurting and sad. Thanks so much Lindsey for being so obedient to the Lord and sharing what you've learned! It helps more people than you'll ever know!

Jessica Ogden said...

Could her name have been Cheryl? I think I know her.

Anna said...

This is a great post! I have been struggling the past few weeks with everything that's going on in my life and not feeling God as much as I'd like to. I know it's not me not wanting to see Him and certainly not Him distancing Himself, but Satan trying to make me doubt. I've had to start claiming God's promises for my life and just asking Him to show Himself to me and help me to keep the faith even though I can't always feel Him because I know He's right here beside me!

Life and Times . . . said...

Isaiah 55 in its entirety is one of my favorite chapters of the Bible. I have about 5,000 favorites. But I just love how Isaiah 55 addresses God's mercy and goodness. And I am so thankful that His thoughts are not my thoughts because frankly, my thoughts can get pretty crumby. I think sometimes people take this out of context and think that God does ("bad") things to us because we don't understand how He thinks. But I don't see it that way at all; especially not when I read the whole chapter.

Anonymous said...

Thank you. The battleground of my mind/heart is so often active in this regard. I needed to be reminded to set my mind on above and not here. And, this reminds me to never take off the Armor, either. Blessings to you.

Tanya said...

I really need to read more scripture and open my dusty Bible more so I have a response when someone asks me a question such as that.

Thanks for reminding me of that!

Catrina said...

I don't think it's a coincidence that I read this today... just when Satan was attacking me with petty (albiet significant in my mind & heart) regret over actions from a long time ago. Things I absolutely can't help, and can't change. Funny how that works... :) Anyway, thanks so much for sharing. This was spoken directly to my heart, and Isaiah 55 is one of my favorites.

Rebecca (Craving Simplicity) said...

This is beautiful!