Yesterday, Rebekah M posted about holding our thoughts captive. It’s true – battles start and end in the mind. Sin starts with a thought, and often the enemy uses things like fear or insecurity to get us thinking in ways that we normally wouldn’t. And we all have thoughts that are not of God, that if we stopped to consider it, we’d know that God wouldn’t approve of them. He knows we’re thinking them anyway, whether we consider His opinion or not. But in that knowledge, He can help us. If we can train our minds to somehow first consider Him, and consider His kingdom, He can help us bring these errant thoughts under control. He can win the battle in our minds. He can help us win it.
Even things that aren’t a battle can be guided by Him if we let Him. Yesterday my roommate and I went on our weekly visit to see his mother at the nursing home where she lives, and he asked me “do you think we’ll get home early today?” We take a paratransit van home, and the van can stop in any of the 5 boroughs of NYC, picking up and dropping off other people before you finally get to your door. I was about to come out with something cynical – we leave at 6:30 and are rarely home before 8 – until I remembered the times we prayed for a quick ride home. I’ve even posted about them. When we prayed out loud and together, we were always home by the time we asked. Once we were even home by 7:03!!
So instead of cracking a cynical joke, I said “Jesus, we know we don’t need to get home early, and we’ll be ok if we aren’t, but we’ve had a long week and if you could have us home by 7:30 or 7:15, we’d really appreciate it!!!” Sure enough, we were home by 7:15 exactly. Jesus came through yet again. When my roommate said “good call on the time” and I replied “I had nothing to do with it”, he looked upwards with a smile that clearly said ‘I know who was’.
It’s such a small thing. But it’s a powerful reminder that when our first thought IS of God, when we DO turn towards Him and let Him work and guide our circumstances, He can work amazing things. Not only did we get home on time, but we got to pray together, and grow in faith together, which is more important than any ride home could ever be.
So try to take a second, when you’re faced with a choice or challenging conversation, or even letting your thoughts drift idly to a place that’s not of God, to stop and check in with Him. Try to train your mind to seek Him first, so that He can move in those moments and help you overcome the thoughts you don’t want.