I’ve had the joy of leading a book club through my newest book Sacred Endurance. Today, we did a short discussion on Chapters 5 and 6. Chapter 5 is likely one of the most important chapters in the book. In it, I consider the ways we struggle to endure because of our minds. It’s easy to act a certain way because our actions are seen by others. We can pretend to be okay. We can pretend to love. We can pretend to be pure. But our thoughts reveal what’s truly in our hearts. What we think reveals what we truly believe about God. That’s why I dedicated a chapter to our enduring and the mind.
In our book discussion, I challenged everyone to list some of their recurring thoughts, whether it’s about a circumstance, a person, or themselves. After listing these thoughts, I instructed them to write out what is true about the situation or person. I find that this practice helps me take captive my thoughts and submit my worries to the Lord. I typically do this audibly rather than in written form but seeing it on paper is quite helpful and illuminating.
This practice also reveals a great deal of the lies I am believing at the time. I urged them to remember that satan, though we don’t speak of him much, is the father of lies. We are at war in our mind against him (Ephesians 6:12). Jesus is greater. He wins in the end. But there’s still a fight and so we can either succumb to his lies or we can battle with the power we have because of the Spirit. Jesus has provided the way of escape (1 Cor 10:13). We don’t have to say yes to sin and we can fight to believe the truth.
Today, I hope you’ll get in the fight for your mind. How much grief would be relieved in us and others if we took Paul’s exhortation in Philippians 4 to heart, how much peace we’d have.
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned[a] and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you” (8-9).
(Learn more about Sacred Endurance: http://www.trillianewbell.com/sacred-endurance/)