The Battle of the Mind by Sonya

 

 

Our minds are good at playing tricks on us! I know for me my mind can really dictate how I live.  Our mind is a battleground that we need to constantly fight for what is right and connect to God. You can have a broken mind and not be able to hear God and what He is telling you. That broken mind will lose the battle, as it will draw you farther from God. Therefore your mind is powerful and whatever is consuming your mind will consume how you behave and fall into sin. Because the battle for sin will always start in your mind and how you think will cause you to act that sin out.  This battle of your mind is a spiritual fight because we are fighting against our flesh and what the world says and what God says.  God says think on these things in Philippians 4:8, “Finally believers, whatever is true, honorable, worthy of respect, whatever is right, pure, wholesome, lovely, admirable, good and brings peace, think continually on these things. We need to take our thoughts captive by thinking on those things and being obedient to God’s word.

 

The most important things we can do to win the battle of our mind are to guard, protect and renew our mind.  To help us guard and protect our thoughts we should line those thoughts up to God’s word. His truth will set us free and renew our mind. Renewing of our mind will bring peace and strength. What has helped me is to establish healthy boundaries for my mind. These boundaries are established by discerning what is put into my mind. Television, books, social media, technology and people can play a big part in that. If I choose things that are garbage for my mind, then I am going to spew garbage from my mouth and actions. I have to choose what is healthy for me to watch and look at and who I surround myself with. The people that I allow to speak into my life are very essential as those people around you can use words that can either build you up or tear you down. Therefore choose wisely who you let speak into your life. Allow Godly wisdom to be spoken into you and not the lies of Satan that will tear you down.

 

What we put in our mind has a huge and lasting impact on how we think and act. The Bible tells us, “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things” Colossians 3:2. To fix our minds on Him, which is the right things and we will have a healthy mind not a mind filled with this world. God’s desire is for us to live a holy life that is focused on Him to give Him the glory. Our minds should desire Godly things and our actions would follow that. Prayer and mediating on God’s word is the most powerful way to win the battle of your mind. If you are struggling in that area and need prayer, please let us know we are here for you and want to help you obtain victory in this battleground of your mind!

 

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Spring Cleaning by Trish

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…and no, not what you’re thinking. It’s not Christmas time but it is still wonderful it is….. (insert drumroll, please) SPRING CLEANING! There’s something so refreshing about new scenery be it the arrival of fresh flowers now in bloom or sprouts of green grass piercing the brown remains of winter. Spring is a beautiful reminder that our season has changed and new things are evolving.

This is a time where for me personally, I love to open the windows in my home, invite the fresh air to invade my living space and clean those areas of long overdue neglect. It’s a time to sort through things and discard what is no longer serving a purpose in my life. What if we took inventory of our lives in a similar manner as we do our homes?Let’s look at some ways we can do some Spring Cleaning in our lives.

Cleaning Our Mind

Over time it can be a habit to allow old thoughts to take over our mind. We are to be transformed by the renewing of our minds and this should be done daily. What are you thinking about? Have you allowed thoughts of defeat, discouragement and negativity consume you? We should clean our thought life and replace it with what God’s Word says.  “8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Philippians 4:8 NIV

 

Cleaning Our Hearts

This is an area that I am having to work on a lot lately. Situations and people can all too easily contaminate our hearts. We are told to guard our heart. God tells us this because He knows the dangers of a contaminated heart! “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Proverbs 4:23 NIV

When we are tempted to allow “dirt” such as unforgiveness, offense, bitterness etc. to take residency in our hearts, it affects everything else we do! This is why we ask for God’s help to enable us to do what we cannot accomplish on our own. We can pray these words: “Create in me a clean heart, O God,  and renew a right[b] spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10 NIV

 

Cleaning Our Speech

What are you talking about? Are the words you’re speaking bringing life others? Are your words encouraging or damaging? The tongue is like a weapon and can do incredible damage if not controlled! The more we speak whatever comes to mind, the easier it becomes for this to be a habit. Our words carry life and death and we have the power to decide how it will be used. An unruly tongue is a deadly weapon. When you’re stressed, do you speak words of life over your situation or do you resort to defeat in what you say? When someone offends you, do you blast them with your mouth or do you pray for them instead? Yeah, I know much easier said than done. But when someone tries you, don’t let them get the best of you. They’re not worth you coming out of character.

 

Cleaning Our  Connections

Just like your clothes, there are some people that just “don’t fit” anymore. This was a huge struggle for me at one time because I so valued all my relationships. Then I learned not everyone places the same value on relationships as I do. I had to learn to not beg for a place in someone’s life. I had to learn that not everyone deserves to be in your heart space. That is a place that is earned and holds incredible value. Even in conflict, you can see who deserves to be in your life. I had a friend who has been a sister to me. We can disagree and share different opinions on various matters, however her famous statement to me is always, “You can be mad, but you can’t “quit” me.” Be in relationship with those who love you for who you are!  If negativity and drama surround those you are in relationship with cut the toxic connection! I have discovered when I nurture and embrace the healthy relationships in my life, I am preserving my peace of mind and living life with such freedom making room for those who truly deserve it!

So there you go ladies, your Spring Cleaning list. I’d say it’s time to tie your hair back, roll up your sleeves and get to cleaning! Our ultimate desire should be to become more and more like Christ….out with the old and in with the NEW!

“This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!”2  Corinthians 5:17  New Living Translation

 

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Kingdom Giving by Bombi

I don’t know if you were raised in church or if it’s something very new to you. Maybe the Christian life has been presented as one of fire and brimstone, living life on a tightrope, or one that lets you do whatever you want as long as you say “sorry” to Jesus on Sunday.

It seems to me extreme versions of anything have always been around. One thing that has stuck out to me is the trend of presenting kingdom living as one based on rewards.  Now don’t get me wrong, I know from experience that membership has its benefits, when it comes to our Father God, it’s His heart I’m after, not what’s in His hands. It’s not a business transaction, it’s a love journey that will last into eternity.

Simply put, Christianity isn’t a rewards incentive program. I have not found kingdom living to be about how God can serve me and my desires. Rather, the richness has been found in a sacred and sacrificial service to God and His people. It’s not always fun. It’s not always easy. It’s not glamourous. But it is an enriching, fulfilling, and joyous investment into my eternity that will never be tarnished or taken away.

Maybe you’re finding yourself frustrated because you haven’t landed that job you’ve prayed on for so long. Maybe you didn’t meet the man of your dreams as quickly as you had believed and fasted and prayed for. Maybe instead of focusing on getting, you can redirect your focus on giving. When’s the last time you gave something away that you valued to someone in need? When’s the last time you forgave someone and made peace in your heart before they owned up to it? When’s the last time you shared your testimony to someone who was hurting and in need of hope and joy? No doubt you are the daughter of the King. You have access to the richness and spiritual truths that is far more valuable than diamonds and pearls or any earthly reward. Maybe kingdom living is more about giving than living in the kingdom. I challenge you today, give richly like a daughter of the king would generously give. Trust me, you can afford it.

“For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking [what one likes], but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”

Romans 14:17 Amplified Bible (AMP)

 

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Flesh and Blood by Kenika Smith

 

 I am not one to blame the Devil for everything that goes wrong.  Or even to give him so much credit that I start accusing others of allowing him to use them.  But, the fact remains, the fights that we fight, the obstacles that we have to overcome, are not always from a human standpoint.  It’s so easy to focus on what we can see that we lose sight, so to speak, on what can’t be seen. That person that cuts you off in traffic is a lot more accessible so you can roll down your window, yell at them, or even flip them the bird if you’re so inclined.  It’s an instant response that we have to react to who or what is right in front of us.  When that co-worker talks about you behind your back it’s simpler to ignore them, give them the side eye or not allow them to sit with you at the lunch table.    It’s a lot more difficult to discern the spirit behind your co-worker or the wacky driver.

Trust me I’m not trying to be spooky or mystical, I’m simply saying that instead of responding with emotion, we need to stand our guard and realize what type of battle we are continuously in.  This isn’t to scare you or cause you to walk around in fear, but rather it’s a message of comfort.  You’re not at all out war with your spouse, children or other family members. Sometimes the fight is slightly higher up. “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Ephesians 6:12)  Spiritual wickedness in high places the last line says.  Wickedness on a level that our earthly minds cannot comprehend, that’s why we need the Spirit of God to help us to discern and to teach us how to properly fight back. There are rulers of the darkness of this world according to Ephesians 6:12. It doesn’t sound like a force that wishes you any kind of good.  There are many tricks and schemes up the enemy’s sleeve to try to forecast darkness over and in your life.

Now that you are reminded what you are up against, you can properly fight.  We can know the Word of God backwards and forward, but when we are in a crushing predicament, in a moment we lose touch with all that we know to be true.  The verse prior to Ephesians 6:12 says to, “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” (Ephesians 6:11)  Then verses 13-18 give a daily regimen for preparedness in the otherworldly fight against the Devil.

There is no need to fear, but as I said before we can find comfort.  Comfort in knowing that we don’t have to struggle with the things we can see, but we have power and authority and can prepare ourselves for the battles and fights we can’t physically see (ref. 2 Corinthians 10:4).  Put on your armor daily so that you can stand against the wiles/tricks of the enemy.  You aren’t fighting the people in front of you or around you; the battle is much higher than that.  But you can be of comfort that the weapons you do possess are mightier than the highest powers of darkness in this world!  Stop wrestling with flesh and blood (people) and start fighting with your spiritual weapons.

 

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