Sunday, April 29, 2012

Discipline of the Mind

In the 5 Weeks 5 Disciplines 5 Challenges, I've been challenged to work in the areas of
the body, using my time, disciplining the spirit. 
I've been exercising daily, really pushing myself and feel great!
Being conscious of time management, making lists to keep focused and staying alert to time wasters.
Reading God's Word first thing in the morning and trying to take what was read through the day.

This week focuses on the mind.  So much begins in the mind - thoughts which lead to action and actions which lead to habits...all start with a thought.  Every single one of us probably has thoughts things that we would never share.  It's a given that our mind will be tempted...but the discipline part comes in when we analyze those thoughts against God's Word.  Philippians 4:8 gives a guideline for our thoughts:  "...whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things."  Discipline is taking the thought whether it be a worry, criticism, impure, temptation and bringing it under control and to the obedience of the Lord.

The mind is an area of spiritual warfare - a place where good and bad battle.  By choosing the ways of the Lord, we have a weapon that leads to victory:   II Corinthians 10:4-6 "For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds,   casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled."  Disciplining the mind is crucial.

Our mind can also get cluttered!  It's no wonder when today's woman is busier than ever with so much to do and so little time to do it.  It takes discipline to be focused.  When our minds begin to mull over all that needs to be done and each one that needs something from us, it can get overwhelming.  By choosing to deliberately focus and simplify, we can be more productive and efficient.

Women Living Well share a beautiful quote from Elizabeth Elliot:

A simple and orderly life represents a clean and orderly mind. Muddled thinking inevitably results in muddled living. A house that is cluttered is usually lived in by people whose minds are also cluttered, who need to simplify their lives. This begins with simplifying and clarifying their thinking. Mind and life need to be freed from the “disorder of the unnecessary.”
That quotes stresses the importance of striving for simplicity and order - and that is what I'm working toward this week. 

If you would like to join me for this week's challenge, here it is:

Week 4′s Challenge:Prayerfully identify one unnecessary thing you can eliminate from your life. Is there a room, cupboard or closet you need to clean out? Clean it out this week! If clutter is not an issue for you - maybe it’s your calender. Is it so jam packed full with to-do’s that there’s no room for you to think and pray clearly? Prayerfully eliminate something from your calender. Are you spending too much time on your computer, ipad or watching too much television? Choose to limit your time this week – in exchange for some quiet moments of reflection, being in God’s word, praying or reading a mind enriching book.

This may take some work, but the reward is well worth it:
Open the gates,
That the righteous nation which keeps the truth may enter in.
You will keep him in perfect peace,
Whose mind is stayed on You,
Because he trusts in You.
Trust in the Lord forever,
For in YAH, the Lord, is everlasting strength
Isaiah 26:2-4 

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