Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Beyond Reason

(Below are Jessica's thoughts on Chapter 10 of Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer. We'd love to hear your thoughts on this chapter as well. Feel free to leave a comment, question and/or scripture below this post. Let's dig deep and join together to fight this battle.)

Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. -Proverbs 3:5

For as long as I can remember, I have had to fight the urge to over-think things. I still do. Perfectionism, fear of the unknown or of the cost to me personally can overpower the good that God wants me to do if I let myself reason too much. It can also make decision-making much more difficult than it needs to be.

This chapter talks about a confused mind. The bible warns of the dangers of being of two minds in James 1:5-8. When we go back and forth, again and again on an issue or decision, it can rob us of our focus, energy and peace. (I know from experience) This is also why God doesn't want us to worry, but to trust Him completely.

As Joyce teaches us, the battlefield is our mind, and this is where the devil attacks us. God speaks to us in our spirit. Confusion and over-reasoning can lead to the mind overriding what God wants to reveal in our spirit. It is important to understand that we need both, and both ideally work together. Joyce makes this point really well on page 100:

The mind and the spirit do work together, but the spirit is the more noble organ and should always be honored above the mind.

We are to let God lead in the spirit and then follow in obedience with the mind. This doesn't mean acting on whims all the time and not using your mind to think things through. It means that we learn to listen to what God says (both in His word and in our spirit) above all else. God can work things out on our behalf in ways that we can't even imagine. He is not limited to what we can conceive of in our minds, His power and reach are truly beyond anything we could dare to dream. He knows everything that will happen as well as everything that could potentially happen.

We have all heard the expression that "knowledge is power". When you feel helpless and your child is in such great need, it is natural to seek out knowledge that will help. I have spent more hours than I can count researching and comparing various supplements, therapies and approaches that may help my son. It is important to be well-informed, but to stay balanced by not overdoing it. I have found when I overdo the research and reasoning, I end up feeling overwhelmed and confused.

When we trust God, we experience peace and rest in our minds. When our mind is at rest, we can hear from God and be led by the spirit. Only then can we have discernment about whatever we need to decide on. Joyce shares with us that this took getting used to at first. She was so used to her mind being full of reasoning, that peace actually felt "boring". Over time, and after seeing the fruit of peace in her life, she has come to treasure and protect her peace. I have found that my best decisions have come from a place of peace. I am learning to only do that which I have peace over. (this is so hard sometimes!) It does sometimes involve staying where you would rather not be until you have the right answer. (and not just trying something because you can't stand the waiting-like I said, I have experience with this.)

Dear Lord,
Thank you for hearing us whenever we pray to you. I am so grateful to serve a God that already has everything figured out, so that I don't have to. Thank you so much for always having our best interests at heart. I pray for all of the mothers that read this, that we all can experience your perfect peace. May our minds be at rest so that we can hear from you and have true discernment in every area of our lives. I pray that we trust in You fully and do not lean on our own understanding. When we are overwhelmed, confused or distraught over what we don't know, let us be comforted by the thought of knowing You, who is all-knowing, all-seeing and all-powerful. We give you all of the honor, glory and praise, and ask this in Jesus' name.

Bible verses:

As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. -Isaiah 55:9

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. -Philippians 4:6-7

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. -Romans 15:13

“What no eye has seen,
what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived”—
the things God has prepared for those who love him—
-1 Corinthians 2:9

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