Sunday, June 24, 2012

Preparing my mind: A different perspective on worry

We are just finishing up a great series at church through the book of Philippians on the topic of Perspective. The concept of perspectives is huge to me, and so I need to write out and process what I learned today, and hopefully pass on to you something of value along the way.

1. Do. We always should be doing something. Our actions can't always fix everything, but worrying will never fix anything.

2. Remember. There's no way to stop anxious thoughts from entering your mind, but you can redirect your anxious energies by reminding yourself that the Lord is in control, that He cares for us, and that He wants us to cast our cares and concerns on Him. When we've done all that we can do, do not cease to remind ourselves that the Lord does all things well- for His glory and for our joy.

3. Pray. Pray while you're doing all that you can do, and pray some more once you've done all you can do. Pray for God to do what you cannot do.

4. Trust. Place your cares, your trust in God. He's faithful to accomplish His good and perfect purposes through our bad circumstances and imperfect actions.

Seems easy enough; just remember those four things and all is well, right? If it were only so easy...

We all know these things to be true but have trouble remembering them and putting them into practice when the rubber meets the road. It's like we have spiritual amnesia, forgetting those basic and essential truths that we need the most when life takes over, and the illusion of our control over our life quickly vanishes.

"Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect."(Romans 12:2 ESV)

Anxiety and worry are knocking at our door, waiting for us when we get to work, and when we wake up each day. But if we take time to renew our mind and realign our perspective with God's, then we are less likely to be caught off guard when things don't go as planned, or when we get some disappointing or unexpected news.

"Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ." (1 Peter 1:13 ESV)

Every day, our minds are under attack from our flesh and from our advisary with an unrelenting effort to get us to worry. As the scripture above says, we need to prepare our minds for action. We need to do what we can do, remember who is in control, to pray for the Lord to do what we cannot, and to trust God with the results. These things are like pieces of spiritual armor for our minds. When we don't take time to renew our minds and to prepare our minds for action, our minds will become hopeless casualties against our foe of worry.

So as we go about our lives in the days ahead, let us be mindful of the battles we face for our thoughts, and understanding that the battle is eminent, prepare our mind for action as do, remember, pray, and trust.