4 Steps to Love God With Your M.I.N.D.

Reading book

Sometimes I wonder if I am doing all I can to love God. That may sound like a strange statement, but it’s honest. As I fight the battle between the flesh and spirit I find myself growing weary of giving God my all.

Recently, I read a familiar passage of scripture that washed over my spirit convicting me to take a closer look. The scripture comes from Matthew 22:37… “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.”

While reading it the Lord said, “Jodi, are you loving Me with all of your mind?

Whoa! I knew I was loving Him with all my heart and soul, but I could not say yes to His question. So, I replied with a question:

“Lord, how am I supposed to love you with all of my mind when my thoughts are battling between right and wrong, lies and truth…?”

Do you love God with all your mind, or would you be asking God the same question I did?

God is aware of the difficulty we experience loving Him as He desires us to. Knowing this He has provided us with a powerful weapon that can overthrow the enemy of our mind. His word!

The question is whether or not we will use it. But to use it we must believe God’s word, surrender to it, and live it out.

Are we going to give in and let the flesh win because we are tired of fighting the enemy or will we unleash the power of the Word and claim ground that is the Lord’s?

If God wants us to love Him with our mind, and He does, then no wonder the battle is so intense. The enemy is threatened when our minds are fixed on Christ because we live in peace. (Isaiah 26:3)

The enemy, Satan, is a deceiver, liar, thief, and seeks to distract our thoughts in hopes to lead us down a path of destruction (1 Peter 5:8).

I am willing to stay in the fight using the weapon, the word, God has provided. Are you?

To strengthen my resolve to stay in the battle I created a four-step process using an acronym with the word MIND. (By the way this is God’s answer to my question to Him.)

To help us recall M.I.N.D. click HERE for a printable.

While the process sounds simple, the application of it will prove its need of preparation, awareness, perseverance, and unyielding commitment.

Meditate

Intentionally ponder about God’s truths, and His promises. Recall times He answered your prayers, provided, protected, and proved His awareness of you. The more you meditate on His word and track history the more you will have your mind fixed on Him.

*Create 3×5 cards with scriptures that encourage you, remind you to love God, and inspire you to worship Him. Place them in your car, on your desk, and on your mirror.

Identify

What causes your thoughts to drift away from God? Identify the pitfalls, triggers, so you can be on guard the next time they encroach. Knowing is half the battle.  Take comfort in the knowledge that His word heals and delivers us from destructions (Psalm 107:20).

Navigate

God’s word is a lamp guiding our path, so use it as you navigate a new thought pattern (Psalm 119: 105).  Begin by renewing your mind (Romans 12:2).  Think on things that are true, honorable, right, pure, and lovely (Philippians 4:8).

Declare

Make a commitment declaring that you cannot do this without Him, but with Him you will be victorious (John 15:5).  Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He will do it (Philippians 4:13).  Declare that you will strive daily to love Him with all your mind (Psalm 37:5).

By the time you have gone through “M.I.N.D.”, you will find your thoughts have been redirected, and you now have the upper hand. Let’s not give up on fighting the flesh so that the spirit may win. God is our strength!

The next time your thoughts are unhealthy, destructive, untrue, or deceptive pause and remember “MIND” (Meditate-Identify-Navigate-Declare). Practice until it becomes second nature.

I pray that when God asks us if we are loving Him with all our mind we will all say, “YES,” and with all our heart and soul, too.

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Your Place at the Table

Chair 2

God planted a deep desire within me to grow as a speaker. For several years, I prayed about attending the “She Speaks” conference put on by Proverbs 31 Ministries. I was overwhelmed at the number of speakers that are out there; but, I read something that made me think that just maybe, I could be one of them. It read something like this, “Only you can tell your story the way you tell it, and it needs to be told. Even though the table seems crowded with thousands of speakers and writers, there is always room at the table for you. An empty chair is waiting.” Those words inspired me to take the next step, so I signed up!

As I attended the conference I was astounded to be in a sea of eight hundred ladies pursuing a calling from God and feel a bond with them all. We all “get” one another.

Though I must be honest and share that as I entered the conference room to take a seat, I was not prepared for the wave of emotions nor the spiritual warfare that I was about to confront.

It started with the enemy of comparison. Realizing that I was surrounded by such godly women, seemingly far more advanced than myself, created in me a desire to hide in the shadows, becoming unnoticeable. The Enemy noticed me, though. He noticed my insecurity and wanted to create his own special seating for me.

Has he ever pulled up a chair for you and whispered lies?

The enemy tempted me over and over again to sit in the chair he pulled up because his lies felt more like truth than truth itself; lies that I was unworthy, inadequate, and out of place. Y’all, he even whispered that my southern dialect would be a hindrance! He drew the line there! 😉

But, God saw my struggle! He is El Roi, (The God who sees). As I journeyed through the two-day conference, He was faithful to place new friends in my path to walk alongside me every time I needed encouragement.

The vast knowledge and insight I received was too much to process while there, so I spent the following Monday unpacking all I had learned. As I sat in my oversized comfy chair at home, still before God, He washed me with His truths in a way only God can. God enabled me to redeem much of the confidence that the enemy robbed from me at the conference.

God reminded me that He is the lover of my soul. He loves me in my shame. He loves me in my doubt. He loves me in my brokenness. He loves me in my insecurities.

God revealed to me that He has plans for me to become something I struggle to fully see. He reminded me of the sixth chapter of John and the little boy who offered Jesus ALL he had: five loaves of barley bread and two fish. God used the little he had to feed thousands.  God whispered gently to my soul, “Jodi, bring me ALL you have and with the little you bring, I will do great things! This is the first step in becoming what I see in you. You can trust ME!”

Maybe you, too, need to let those words wash over you. I do not believe they were meant for me alone. God sees you! He desires for you to sit in the chair He purposed just for you. It may be to become a speaker, writer, homemaker, nurse, teacher, or whatever… He will help you become more than you can see in yourself right now. It may take a thousand steps of faith, but only one is required at a time.

There is a battle going on and we must choose our chair carefully. The Enemy’s chair wobbles, and the legs will crumble beneath you, guaranteeing your fall; but, God’s chair is secure and balanced. It will fully support you under any circumstance.

Just know that you too belong at the table God has prepared. Pull up your chair and take your place. See what great things God will do.

I am joining a Blog Hop hosted by Cindy Bultema. To learn more about She Speaks and other that have attended check out this Powered by Linky Tools

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God gives us instructions on how to wait.

WaitingWhile waiting on the Lord her mind was consumed with numerous questions. Questions such as: How long will I have to wait?  What will the outcome look like? Am I wasting my time waiting? Shouldn’t I be doing something? At that moment she realized she was ringing her hands. Anxiety was now her companion.  Her stress washed over her soul causing weakness, tears, and pain.

Stressing while waiting for the Lord is common for most of us.

  • We stress while waiting for Him to reveal His will as we try to discern what to decide. We toss and turn the pros and cons causing us to become overwhelmed.
  • We stress while waiting for Him to be our avenger. Wondering if we should take things in our own hands not realizing bitterness is slipping in.
  • We stress while waiting for Him to remove us from a situation. We begin focusing on what seems to be impossible and felling trapped.
  • We stress while waiting for Him to move a mountain or part the waters so we can move forward. We begin feeling hopeless and depression sets in.

Do you see something wrong with this picture? We are waiting the wrong way.

God gives us instructions on how to wait for Him.

“Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage; yes, wait for the Lord.” Psalm 27:14

While we wait for Him He instructs us to be strong letting our hearts take courage.

How would waiting for the Lord look different, for the woman I mentioned above, if she fully applied this verse?

While waiting on the Lord her mind was consumed with numerous thoughts.  Such as: I will choose to wait on the Lord for however long it takes.  No matter what the outcome looks like God causes all things to work together for good. God’s word does not return void, so I know my waiting will be fruitful. I will be still and know that He is God.  At that moment she realized she was lifting her hands in praise to God. She began recognizing peace was her companion. She was waiting in the Lords strength. Her soul was uplifted with a heart full of courage.

The first story of the women revealed little trust in the Lord. She thought if she was in control then she could control the outcome. The second story of the women revealed her complete trust and confidence in the Lord. She knew that by releasing all control to God the outcome would be blessed.

Which will be your story today? Will Anxiety or peace be your companion? Choose wisely so you may have life. Abundant life.

God’s word breathes life into us when we fully apply it. Stop ringing your hands and start raising them in praise. Your strength comes from God who hears you, sees you, and loves you.

“Yet those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.” Isaiah 40:31 NASB

“Praise the LORD! Praise the LORD, o my soul!” Psalms 146:1NASB

 

 

Matters Of The Heart

Delight picture

We tend to simplify this verse. We treat it like pressing the red Staples “That was easy” button… and POOF– our hearts desires are expected to be met.  I am guilty of that. “Delighting” oneself in the Lord is not something that we should do flippantly; rather, it is an intentional act of pursuing a Holy and Righteous God. In that pursuit there are many benefits.

I intentionally take delight (or pleasure) in the Lord in many ways and often benefit instantly:

  • I love talking with Him throughout the day. The wonderful thing about that is He is never too busy and always right there to bend His ear to hear me. (Psalm 116:1-2 NASB)
  • I invest time with Him in the morning as I read the bible, read my devotional, and journal. As I write down my thoughts, reflections, and prayers, I am pouring my heart out to Him. He understands me like no one else can! He knows me by name. (Isaiah 43:1B NASB)
  • I mediate on His word from the verses I have on 3×5 cards in my home and in my car. And His word never returns void.(Isaiah 55:11 NASB)
  • I acknowledge His presence and provision in the simplest aspects of life. Examples:
  • Wildflowers in a field that are clothed by a creative God.
  • Pennies that He places in my path (that remind me to trust in Him and He is mindful of me).
  • A stray rabbit hopping around in my back yard (reminding me that if He provides for it how much more He will provide for me).
  • Waking up and feeling the air in my lungs (reminding me that He is the very air I breathe and without Him there is no breath).

The benefits keep multiplying as I consistently take delight in Him. He chooses to give me the desires of my heart. The heart takes on a big role in this benefit. In biblical thought, the heart is the center of the human spirit where emotions, thoughts, courage, motivations and actions-spring forth. As Proverbs 4:23 reads “watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flows the springs of life”.

What then might the “desires of your heart” look like?

Taking a look at friendship may shed light on the question. When we share our life and heart with a friend we begin to “get real” with one another.  Soon, we begin finishing one another’s sentences and may even start mirroring that friend.  God calls us His friend (John 15:15). When we delight in the Lord we begin trusting in Him and free up the “real you” to come out.  We begin to look more like Christ and our desires begin to mirror His desires. Our friendship in Christ shapes our desires to be more heavenward.

My desire is for my heart to align with His desires. I desire for lost souls to be saved, for the broken to be healed and the weary to find rest. I desire for the hopeless to discover hope, for the fatherless to realize their Father in Christ, and to be Christ’s “hands and feet” to those around me. I desire to be poured out as a drink offering, to make an impact in the lives of others for the Glory of God, and to trust Him without boundaries, I desire to believe Him without question, to walk in obedience to His calling, and to thrive in the dreams He plans for me. I desire to love the unlovable and to be a light in a dark world…

Are you willing to intentionally pursue God by delighting in Him? This process begins as you confess to God that you want to know Him more.  If you are new to the bible start in the book of John. Walk slowly. Read a chapter a day. Stroll through the chronicles of the exposed heart of God on the pages of His precious Word. Engage in conversation with God through prayer. Look for signs of His presence and provision in your observable world. Trace His finger prints in the little things in life. Seek Him with all of your heart and you will find Him.

“The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in Him.” (Psalm 37:23 NIV)