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Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Managing My Mind

In review of Psalm 119:112 it says, “I have made up my mind to obey your laws forever, no matter what” (CEV).

Today's passage is Psalm 119:112. In Psalm 119 the psalmist explains how God's word is true and wonderful. I should stay true to God and his word no matter how bad the world around me becomes. Obedience to God's laws is the only way to achieve real happiness. Therefore, I should be determined to keep God's decrees to the very end.

To walk safely in the woods at night I need a light so that I don't trip. In this life, I will walk through dark forests of evil. But God's Word can be my light to show me the way ahead so I won't stumble as I walk. It reveals the entangling roots of false values and philosophies. I need to study God's Word so that I will be able to see my way clear enough to stay on the right path.

I’m reminded today that the reason why most people are ineffective in life is that they’ve never learned how to fight the battle of the mind.

If you want to learn to manage my mind, I have to be delivered from destructive thoughts. That isn’t easy, because there are three enemies that keep me from fulfilling all my good intentions of changing my life.

The first enemy is my old nature.
Paul says in Romans 7:23, “There is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me” (NLT). I find myself doing things that I don’t really want to do? That’s the battle in my brain between my old, sinful nature and my good intentions.

The second enemy is Satan.
Satan cannot force me to do anything, but he can make suggestions, and those suggestions are incredibly powerful. He is constantly planting negative thoughts in my mind. He’ll use other people or he’ll use the TV or he’ll just throw a thought in my mind.

The third enemy is the world’s value system.
Does anything in our society encourage self-discipline? Not much. Advertisements tell us, “You deserve a break today. Have it your way. We do it all for you.” The Bible says in 1 John 2:16, “For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world” (NIV).

With enemies like that, no wonder I struggle with discouragement and despair.

So how do I fight this battle? I’m reminded to look at what 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 says: “Though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ (NIV).

I have a choice. My mind has to listen to me. God didn’t give me just a mind. He gave me a will! The best time to win the battle with temptation is before it begins. “I have made up my mind to obey your laws forever, no matter what” (Psalm 119:112 CEV).

Bottom Line:
Be determined to keep God's decrees to the very end.

What this means to me:
Given what I know it is my desire to obey God's laws forever, no matter what I face or what happens.

In summary, God's word is true and wonderful. I should stay true to it no matter how bad the world around me gets. Obedience is the only way to achieve real happiness. Be determined to keep God's decrees to the very end. I will walk through some dark areas, but God's Word can be my light to show me the way. I must learn to manage my mind. To be delivered from destructive thoughts. Here are three things that keep me from getting there. The first is my old nature, the second is the Enemy himself (planting negative thoughts in my mind.) The third is this worlds value system (which doesn't encourage any self-discipline). To battle these I can go to the knowledge of God and take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. The choice is mine. Therefore I can make up my mind to obey God's laws forever, no matter what.

This morning Father I pray for your discernment, wisdom and guidance for my life and how I conduct my work, lead those who work for me and interact with those I work with. These things I pray in your Son Jesus name, amen!

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