"Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ"
-2 Corinthians 10:5
Ay yo crew, WHAT UP! I hope you're having a dope day. Welcome to May's devotional where we are preparing to win the battle in the mind. I love using my gifts and creativity for God's glory and keeping yall fresh in my merch. But, if you read enough of my emails and Instagram posts, you can see, I'm pretty passionate about reminding you:
- Who you are in Christ
- To renew your mind with God's Word
- Guard your heart
- To prioritize prayer
I am by no means a mental health professional, but am TOTALLY in favor of our therapists, psychologists and psychiatrists. I have won several battles WITH GOD and my desire is to pour out what I have learned.
This month, I'm sharing a teaching from Pastor Craig Groeschel called "Take Back Your Mind".
LISTEN and catch this truth bomb:
Our lives are ALWAYS MOVING in the direction of our strongest thoughts.
CHILE, that quote took me completely out and had me CURIOUS to dig deeper with God about this here thought life. So if you look at your present life situation, or even the summation, what THOUGHTS have brought you here? If your thoughts are not leading and positioning you for what you want, Mr. Groeschel suggests you begin to answer and process the following series of questions:
1. What stronghold is holding you back? What is the top wrong mindset that is holding you hostage?
2. What spiritual truth demolishes that stronghold(s)?
3. Create a written declaration using a Biblical verse
4. Commit to: writing, thinking, confessing until you believe it.
Awareness that leads to curiosity, followed by an action plan, may seem like a daunting task. We see the mountain in front of us, which may attempt to overwhelm our ability to even try to tackle it. Because we are not ignorant of satan's devices, let me help you be on guard to his sneak attacks, or even what may happen as you embark on a journey of change. Psychologists Don Kelley and Daryl Connor created the "Emotional Cycle of Change" which breaks down the emotional aspects of change. It goes it a lil something like dis: (source)
1. Uninformed optimism
You imagine the benefits but have not experienced any of the costs. You see all of the benefits of the change and none of the downside. You brainstorm and strategize for the future.
2. Informed pessimism
As you learn the reality of what it takes to change, positive emotions quickly sour with pessimism starting to set in. Here, the benefits don’t seem as real, important, or immediate, and the costs of the change is apparent.
3. Valley of despair
This is when many people give up. The pain of change is felt and the benefits seem far away and unimportant. The quickest way to end the discomfort is to quit and go back to the way you did things before the change was introduced. The past doesn’t seem so bad at this stage.
4. Informed optimism
The possibility of success increases and you are back in the positive emotional zone. The benefits of your actions are starting to bear fruit and the cost of change is feeling worth it. The key here is not to stop but keep going.
5. Success and fulfillment
Here, the benefits of your new behaviors are fully experienced and the cost of change is perceived now as worth it. The actions that were once difficult and uncomfortable are now routine.
So if I were to summarize that emotional cycle, spiritually, I'd say that the enemy and obstacles to this journey of taking back you mind include:
- Despair and hopelessness
- Consulting your feelings for validation of truth or change
- Not walking by faith
- Lack of community
- Lack of accountability
But this is good news. If you know your temptation.
If you know what plot attempts to cause you to stumble.
If you know WHEN you are tempted to ease your guard.
If you know WHEN you are tempted to QUIT
you can put up a guardrail AND ask God for the wisdom and strength NOT TO GIVE IN.
Let's bring this together.
1. You are not alone in the battlefield of your mind.
2. Do not allow the LIES of the accuser to shame and condemn you.
3. See number #1.
4. Because our lives are ALWAYS MOVING in the direction of our strongest thoughts, let's guard and build new thoughts that are ALIGNED to God's perfect will for us.
5. Be aware of the emotional journey of change as we courageously embark on this journey.
6. See number 1 AGAIN.
7. Let God be your strong tower, refuge, Father, comforter, coach and strength as you fight these battles FROM YOUR PLACE OF VICTORY.
This is a journey. When you are too discouraged to pray, ask God for faith and strength. You are not alone. You have power to take thoughts captive and to build up an arsenal of God's thoughts TOWARDS YOU!