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Posts Tagged ‘renewing your mind’

Day Sixty –Eight

Dwelling In the Secret Place – A Refuge Beyond Harm

“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty [Whose power no foe can withstand].” Ps 91:1 Amp

 

          All of us need a secret place.  All of us need a place beyond the reach of the enemy of our soul.  Unfortunately, many of us don’t know of such a place – let alone find it.

          More than just a place of physical safety, the secret place of the Most High God affords us safety for our soul and our spirit.  It is our refuge in Jesus Christ.  It is a stronghold of safety where no other power can overcome you!

          Growing up – I wish I had known of this place.  You may recall that whole: “sticks and stones” adage – which was and is basically a lie.  Words do hurt us: especially if they are embraced and allowed to enter the thoughts of our mind to be played over and over.  They are given power at that point to affect who we become, and how we become.  I was affected like this.

          Some of the earliest words I remember my dad saying to us three kids (I was the youngest) was: “You are only guests in this house – you were not wanted.”  At another time he said to me specifically, “If you don’t hold this still I will kill you!” (I was helping him put siding on our house. My job was to hold the board as he sawed it.)  Words like those can do damage.  They easily bobble around in our thinking like a loose marble, making mush of emotional health and stability.

This is what I love about the Lord and His Word.  It lifts me out of my pit of despair and hopelessness; it binds up the emotional hurts and wounds where no one even sees them.  But more than a band-aide on my hurts, the Lord renews my thinking concerning my situation.  He gives me light in my thoughts, and love in my heart to understand how such hard situations occur.  He covers me with His own love and protection and bathes me in His acceptance!  It is then that I can become stable and fixed in my outlook.

My dad was a wounded and broken man, unhappy and consumed with self-despising thoughts.  When I was still in the womb he was diagnosed with early-onset  Parkinson’s Disease.  He was just in his thirty’s. The Parkinson’s took his critical, hard nature and enhanced it with paranoia and deep rage.  Most every response of his was out of that place.

But as I became a believer in Jesus, He began to sow forgiveness in my heart towards my dad, even though he had already passed away.  The Lord gave me a recollection of my dad, how he loved to go to the shopping mall and sit in the parked car to watch people.  My dad loved people – to chat and socialize.  He was a mega- extravert.  But his own view of his Parkinson’s made him a thing of derision in his own eyes.  He had felt this same scathing towards an old-man in Swissvale, PA that he would see lumbering in a shaky, unsteady gate across a small bridge there. This man had Parkinson’s.  In my dad’s thinking – he had become that man.  The one whom he had derided was now himself.

          The Lord showed me how my dad lived in a place beyond happiness or contentment, because he assumed others despised him as he loathed himself.  He was captive to his own unstable thinking.  The hurt he felt he took out on others.

The Lord broke my heart for my dad as he unveiled this understanding to me.  It became easy to forgive my dad for his hurtful, harsh manner as I saw the prison (albeit self-constructed) he dwelt in.  He desperately wanted interaction with people, but was forced by his thinking to live on the outskirts of true fellowship.

My dad was a victim of the enemy’s lies, and an adversary of God’s truth.  Thus he was not able to dwell in the Secret Place of the Most High God.  His thinking was not renewed according to the Word of God.  This is what kept him captive to misery. But it need not be so with you or me.  We do not need to stay on the outskirts of fellowship with God.

Every one of us has endured harsh words or painful experiences of some type.  The enemy’s desire is that we would curl –up and die.  But the Lord has made a way for us to be set free from every prison of our thoughts, perceptions, and crooked thinking.  We can even be free from those wounding and hurts that have scarred us deeply.

What is needed – is to be willing and open to the Lord’s perspective rather than nursing our own grudges and stroking our own entitled sense of rage.

The Lord would have each of us embrace His truth, His heart and His mind about everything.  He would have us let go of our axes to grind, and instead be freed from that bile and hatred that will consume us.  He wants to bring us to the Secret Place of perpetually dwelling with Him, where no foe’s power can withstand Him.  So the question stands before us — Are you willing?

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Day Twenty-Nine

 

Overthrowing Your Strongholds

 

“For the weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood], but they are mighty before God for the overthrow and destruction of strongholds,…”

Amp 2Cor 10:4

 

 

          Have you ever seen the poles along the interstates in Montana and Wyoming used to measure snow drifts?  Sometimes I think it would help to have such a device to measure the pervasiveness of change which the Kingdom of God has made in our old patterns of thinking.  That’s a vague notion I’m sure – let me clarify.

          Simply put, the question is this – is there agreement between what I show people, what I demonstrate to be my thinking or opinions on some topic or towards some person – and what are the thoughts I allow to occupy my internal dialogue?  In other words, am I congruent?  If I harbor thoughts of dislike, distrust, jealousy, anger, rage, bitterness, etc. in my internal mind, but reframe those thoughts and actually dress them up with “pseudo-Christian fluff” that then gets projected outwardly – I am not congruent.  I am living a divided life where what I think and tolerate in my thoughts is markedly different from what I display outwardly.  This is not good.

          The Scripture says, as a man thinks in his heart – so he is.  It says out of the overflow of the heart his mouth speaks!  We think we are hiding those critical, negative attitudes of our heart.  Or at the very least we think we are dressing them up to make them more socially acceptable.  But we deceive ourselves.  They are known.  More importantly — when your secret thoughts indulge dark thinking – thoughts that are more like the enemies thoughts than a believers, when they are diametrically opposed to the heart and thoughts of God – you place yourself in a dangerous and precarious position.  When you harbor thoughts that are essentially “evil” in that they form a report that does not agree with God, His Word, or His will on the matter, you have then given the enemy a potentially evil foothold.  He cannot read your thoughts, but he can read your actions like a book.  He has studied you especially for places of weakness.  If he can use your negative thinking as a platform and base of operations where he can skew your thoughts into deeper darkness – he will indeed!  This is the zone of danger Will Robinson!

          This is why we are called to guard our hearts above all that we guard – for out of them flow the very issues of life (Prov 4:20-23).  We would seek to modify the projection of our thoughts, to make them look more kind.  We excuse them as something that we are allowed to indulge – completely oblivious to the truth that as they continue to solidify and expand their hold on us — those thoughts are what we actually are becoming!  If our eye is evil or unsound, then the very light that is in us is darkened, and how dense is that darkness (Mt 6:22-23).

          So where is the line in you that marks the level of the Lord’s rule in your life and the reign of His Kingdom.  To what depth does it extend?  Do you religiously arrange your external behavior but bring no discipline to your thought-life?  Do you still insist on harboring thoughts adversarial to His truth and His will simply because you excuse them as harmless? The Lord has given us His life in us and His word to renew our thinking to His.  Saints – use His word as a yardstick to judge the quality of your thinking and to bring truth to your inner man.  As your thinking is brought captive to the obedience of Christ Jesus, His life will expand and grow in you.  You will begin to have victory over internal struggles and external conflict like never before.  This, then, begins the overcoming life — the resurrection life, the new life in Christ being lived out in us that He came to give us.

          Be free, be one with Christ in love, be-loved!

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