Friday, August 9, 2013

On Guarding Your Mind

...I want you to to be wise as to what is good and innocent as to what is evil. Romans 16:19
But as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, "You shall be holy, for I am holy." (1 Peter 1:15-16)
How can a young man keep his ways pure? By guarding it according to your word. With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! Psalm 119:9-10
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Philippians 4:8
Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him! Psalm 34:8
You have said, "Seek my face." My heart says to you, "Your face, LORD, do I seek." Psalm 27:8
Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4
Guarding one's mind is difficult and challenging. It requires intentional effort, a certain mindfulness. It takes discipline, training, commitment. It requires discernment, obedience, and sacrifice. It calls for us to trust and obey whether we want to or not, whether we understand or not. It demands that we choose God over others--our society, our generation, perhaps even our friends. It asks not, "what is everyone else doing" or "is it popular" but asks only "is it right?" "is it wise?" It may be that in many, many cases it's not a question of "is it bad? is it evil? is it dangerous?" but "is it the best use of my time?" "is it wise for me to choose this instead of that?" There are plenty of activities that in many ways are harmless enough in moderation. Out of moderation, taken to extremes, even harmless things can be taken too far. If only because they may waste all your time, or take too big a piece of your heart away from God. And then there are things that are just dangerous even in the smallest of doses.

One can't unread a book. One can't unwatch a movie or TV show. One can't unlisten to a song. One can't unplay a game. Knowing "more" about "good AND EVIL" isn't necessarily a "good" thing. Just ask Eve.

The question is HOW DOES ONE GUARD ONE'S MIND? The answer is simple and obvious and practical. By reading the Bible. By reading and meditating and studying the Bible. By believing the Bible, treasuring it, by allowing it to change you from the inside-out, by letting it rewrite your desires. God has to become bigger to you than sin. God has to become bigger to you than your old-life habits. God has to be desired, pursued, sought. God wants a relationship with you. He wants you to love Him back. Its not enough to read words on a page; they have to be absorbed or even lived. Prayer and Bible-reading are two essential disciplines that can't be dismissed without consequences. Prayer can deliver you in the moment definitely! But Bible-reading prepares you for that temptation, for the battle against sin, for the battle against your old-sinful-habits.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

No comments: