As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I am on a twenty-one day fast (closing out day eleven) and environmental distractions are at bare minimum. I don’t watch TV; I don’t read anything except my Bible and some AW Tozer; I’m not spending my time in the kitchen trying out various recipes – I have more time on my hands than I ever thought possible. What I have discovered, though, is how easily I can distract myself.
I escape within my mind, plotting, planning, and imagining. Don’t get me wrong; an imagination can be a wonderful thing. It’s a godly aspect, creativity originated with God himself and He is an active sponsor of original design. However, everything we have was given to us for the advancement of the Kingdom. My thoughts were never meant to focus on myself, or my pleasure. It’s one thing to daydream about the beauty of the Lord, or imagine ways to reach others with the gospel. It’s another thing to think about myself, or my problems, or my basic desires.
In my scripture reading the other day, I came across the well known and oft quoted 2 Timothy 1:7 – For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. By “sound mind,” Paul means a disciplined mind (look up the Greek word sophronismos). A disciplined mind is one that doesn’t wander, one that stays focused. This is so important for the Christian: we cannot get accustomed to divergent thought! Especially we ladies, who tend towards romance and nostalgia (the fluff inside every daydreamt cloud).
When we commit our thought life to the Lord, it means more than keeping our thoughts from immorality or vulgarity. We have to dedicate our thoughts in our downtime – time in-between classes, or in the car on the way to work, or in the morning as we prepare for the day – to the things of the Lord. It’s become cliché to moan about there not being enough hours in the day. There are thousands of opportunities each day to direct our thoughts towards Heaven and the business thereof.
After attending a revival this past summer, I had such a hunger to see the supernatural Christ in me, through me, and around me. My mind was so focused on that one thing that I did see miracles. I had the Holy Spirit tell me things about perfect strangers, and I saw the shock on the faces of said strangers as they realized that Christ is alive, powerful, and concerned about them. I saw a man walk (for over an hour) who had been in a wheelchair for six years following a car accident. I committed all my energy, time, and thoughts to seeing the Kingdom of Heaven displayed around me. And then I came back home.
Life settled back into a routine. My personal time was for me, time to relax and kick back and indulge. I would spend time with God, instead of giving Him my whole day. My thoughts ranged from the things of God to, fashion, school, money, Seinfeld, Starbucks, time with friends, memories, recipes, to anything and everything else. And I wondered why that urgent desire was slipping away, why the nudges of the Holy Spirit were less frequent. My thoughts had diversified, and I went from being consumed to being convenient.
I hate that.
So now, I have asked God to make me aware of idle time, and to keep me conscious of the fact that it belongs to Him. I don’t want any random thoughts. Randomness may be funny and entertaining, but do I have time for it? I can’t afford to not give myself utterly to the gospel. I want to see lives changed, I want to see souls saved, I want to see the sick healed, and I want to see deliverance!
THE BOTTOM LINE: A dedicated mind is the fountainhead of productivity; and a mind wholly dedicated to the Lord produces much powerful, spiritual fruit.
1 Thessalonians 5:17//Colossians 3:1-3//1 Peter 1:13//