My mind is constantly full. Thoughts and dreams, both joyful and anxious take up front row seats in my heart and mind. Recently I’ve become even more aware of this constant race that my mind is running. There’s no break, and that can be exhausting.
I’m learning that rest is important. It’s so healthy and even essential that we carve out regular times in the business of our lives to truly just rest, not only physically, but mentally and emotionally. Take time to just stop and be ok with silence, to soak in that open space, clearing out room in our hearts and minds to just be in the still presence of the Father.
So rest and stillness is important, but obviously we can’t live in that place all the time. Our minds are amazing, created by the Lord for the purpose of glorifying him with all that they dream up and process. There is great power in a mind full of thoughts which have been taken captive for the purposes of the Lord.
So where do I allow my thoughts to take me? If I’m completely honest, I’d say that at this point in my life, most of my “busy thoughts” serve as huge distractions. Colossians 3:2 tells us to, “Set your minds on things above, not on earthy things”. It’s not that my thoughts are inherently evil or sinful, but they often take my mind away from the Lord and shift my focus to earthy things.
Ok, so I’ve determined that many of my thoughts are not set on things above. Good. Now, am I ok with that? Am I content with living a good Christian life while my mind chases after the world? Recently the Lord has been challenging me with these questions.
I think we often hand over free power to the enemy by underestimating the capacity of our thoughts. I know for me at least, it is so easy for me to compromise in this area because what goes on in my mind is easily hidden to the rest of the world.
But imagine if we truly took our thoughts captive and made them obedient to Christ. Just think of the affect this could have, not only in our own lives, but in the lives of everyone we care about and come into contact with.
So where do I channel my thoughts? Do I let them lead me into anxiety? Do I allow them to feed into my own dreams and desires without considering if they line up with God’s plans for me? Do they carry me into jealousy and comparison?
OR, do I channel these thoughts into prayers?
What if every time I thought about my future, I prayed for the Lord’s guidance, for his will to be done, and his glory to be multiplied?
What if every time I missed someone from home, I prayed for them and for their families?
What if every time I looked at myself in the mirror, and thoughts about my appearance flooded my mind, I prayed for the Lord to make me look more like him and less like me?
What if every time I became frustrated with someone, I stopped and prayed for a heart full of love for them?
This is simple stuff, but it’s so revolutionary. Imagine if we really, truly lived prayerfully, if our minds were full of captive thoughts, running hard after the very same things that are on the Father’s heart.
Our lives would look drastically different, and so would the lives of those around us, because prayer works. Prayer is active and powerful.
Let’s grasp onto this great tool the Lord has given us in prayer and claim the authority he has handed to us through his Spirit.
Let’s live revolutionary lives, fueled by prayer and captivated by the Lord.