So many patients come in and tell me their feelings are causing so much pain. Or their feelings and emotions are out of control. The most damaging stories evolve from letting emotions become their decision-making system, leading to incredibly destructive and life-interfering behaviors.
Now, I am not saying our “negative” emotions are always bad … they are a great warning system. But that is a discussion for a different devotional (see May 1, 2011).
By making the decision to spend time with Your Lord, His thoughts will literally begin to form your mind. But you see, God made our minds so powerful and complex, that we have many thoughts at the same time. These thoughts then compete to form the lenses our mind uses to see life’s situations. A big stumbling block is the difficulty of dealing with our emotions. Especially problematic are real or possible emotional discomfort and pain.
Loneliness, rejection, feeling unimportant, lack of control, competency questioned, hopelessness, helplessness … we often allow these to become terrible directors of our thought world. Our desire to avoid these feelings really drives many inadequate and, more often, self-destructive decisions we wish we could take back. These decisions often evolve into patterns or habits we want to change. But we feel we have no control and can’t stop.
God gave us the Holy Spirit to be the Director of our development to become more Christ-like. Godly decision-making keeps the Holy Spirit on the throne of our heart. (See Spiritual Basics link and then click Confession). When we do not make a Godly decision, we need to confess the wrong decision, make it right with God, and get the Holy Spirit back on the throne of our heart. As you attempt to spend time with God in prayer, scripture reading, or meditation, turn this process over to the Holy Spirit … let His Spirit be the Director of this process.
Today, track your feelings, especially what you feel when people say something to you or an unexpected situation occurs. What is your first feeling? If that feeling is uncomfortable, what is your first response? Also, practice confession today. Unfortunately, we all have a number of sinful decisions (internal thoughts or external behaviors) each day that require confession to restore the Holy Spirit to the throne. You will be amazed the path your life takes when you promote the right manager to direct your thoughts and mind.
Dear Father of Truth, There are so many things that influence my mind and thoughts … I thank You for Your Spirit who brings order to my mind and infuses it with life and peace. I desire to think Your thoughts, my Holy One. I know that without the Holy Spirit directing my thought processes, my mind scrambles and searches to avoid discomfort and pain, and to get quick-fix relief and satisfaction And I know that the Evil One, the father of lies, tries to worm his way into my mind in the name of distraction and satisfaction. I thank You, Lord, for all your goodness and blessings … and I continue to pray for Your protection. I pray this in the name of my comfort when stressed, Jesus; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace
Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
1 Peter 5:8