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Protecting our minds…


He’s twelve and a half.  Not a young boy anymore, and not even close to a man.  Stuck in that limbo of life, often riding a swinging pendulum back and forth to each side as he waits – not so patiently -for his mind and body to mature.

He’s independent and inquisitive in his ways, and his mind never stops.  He reads everything he can get his hands on, learning more and more about the world around him.  And with this comes a potential awareness of this world that I’m not quite sure I’m ready for him to know.

The tension of this world.  How do I teach him to balance what his mind takes in, Lord, while intentionally following You all the while? 

How do I  balance it, Lord?

Before the sun ever announces a new day, my mind is tempted to wander and feast on the distractions this world has to offer.  The battle for my mind is real before my feet ever hit the floor.  Where it lands – what I fill it with - will determine my choices, my attitude, my interactions with others, my obedience, my effectiveness for the Kingdom.

So before the distractions bombard me and the world gets loud around me, I turn to the Source that will surely equip me for battle.  His words fill my mind with truth.

And there, He prepares me to be an overcomer, beginning with my mind…

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” ~ Philippians 4:8

Where the rubber meets the road?  In order to flee one thing, we must pursue another.

I tell my boy ‘no’ to a popular book that “everyone” is reading.  At first his heart is heavy; he’s reminded once again that he’s a stranger in this world. Oh, sweet child, how I know this feeling all too well.  Pursuing God wholeheartedly while living in this world won’t make us popular, that’s for sure. But then he says the words that make the struggle worthwhile…

“Thank you.”

Even in the struggle, thank you Father that your ways bring peace and life.

Thank you for lasting joy beyond the hard circumstance.

Thank you that Your truth brings real contentment and identity.

Thank you, God, that You give stability and freedom that this world could never offer.

Thank you that when I fill my mind with Your Word, I find what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy.

I find everything that my heart longs for. 

I find You. 

Jesus, protect our minds before the day even begins…

 At His feet,

Let’s talk:  Are you filling your mind with something that is distracting you from your walk with God?  What steps can you take this week to begin replacing what’s distracting you with the things listed in Philippians 4:8?

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  1. Andrea M. says:

    The battle for my mind does not come from outside forces like reading or watching or listening to the wrong things. It comes from within – the negative thoughts that I allow to play over and over again. What “he” said that hurt my feelings. How “she” disappointed me yet again. I have been so convicted this week that just because something is TRUE (it is true that what he said hurt my feelings, it is true that she didn’t come through like she promised), doesn’t mean that I should meditate on those thoughts, thereby allowing Satan to set up a stronghold in my mind. I have purposed in my heart to apply the Philippians 4:8 Eight-Way-Test to everything I think so that I can take every thought captive and bring it into obedience to Christ. I know that Satan wants to set up permanent camp in my mind so that he can steal my joy and take my focus off of Jesus. In the power of Almighty God, I will not let him win! Because of Christ, I can conquer him!

    • nancys1128 says:

      I love what you shared, Andrea. It is so true! Thanks for sharing.

    • Nancy (Ohio) says:

      Andrea…I could not agree more. My mind is constantly distracting me with thoughts as well as lies (if I’m being honest with myself). I have to remember TEA in many moments
      Thoughts=Emotions=Actions (how I set my mind will then affect how my emotions react and then my actions)
      What was shared today by Dear Whittany is so true – and that is getting His Word in us before my feet Hit the floor….As much as my schedule can get crazy first thing-even if I just look at a verse (1 verse) and ponder on that as I start running-my mind is already on a positive note!
      I’m praying for all of us that we would overcome this area of allowing our mind to start us off in a negative pattern and be transformed to a mind focused on the Truth and His Love for us.
      One thing I have done in the last month is I did the dreaded “Turn off” Facebook and I am amazed how God has used that time off to reduce my own negative mindset (caused by my own pride/fear). Facebook has been used in a positive way in my life-but the enemy has overtime turned it into a tool he is using to pull me away from a focused mindset of things above. I’ve replaced this with time spent reading books (All In, Circle Maker, etc) as well as trying to be intentional about quality communication directly with those God has me reaching in this season of life.
      I think I will always struggle with this “mind balance” game-but that is how I know I can’t do these days without first going to His Feet before I get on mine!

      Whittany-again you’re writting speaks right where I’m at!
      Thanks friend,
      Nancy (in Ohio)

    • Wow, I never thought to use Phil 4:8 as an eight way thought test. I have had a past with not handling offense very well. I thought I had victory over it until yesterday. Although I do not take offense from the person as all people have good intentions with their advice but it was the type that really took me off guard. It felt like a small speck of sand that worsened into a painful ordeal. I read scripture aloud and “tried” to wash it out of my mind by filling myself with God. I woke up this morning and it felt like a war… don’t know why. Then I realized it wasn’t the person, it wasn’t the words it was being used as a dart. Why would something so trifle be bothering me? It wasn’t until I read your post that I realized that I was dodging the offense rather than washing it with the word. I read the scripture, did asked myself is this pure? is this lovely? etc and I felt straps loosening from the stronghold. Wow, God’s Word is powerful if used correctly.

  2. nancys1128 says:

    I always do my SOAPing before reading the post for the day. Today was no different. Imagine how my heart leapt when I read your words about the rubber meeting the road.

    The following is the first sentence of my Application for today: “This verse is one of those that’s an example of where the rubber meets the road.”

    Our God is sooooo good and amazing! This is actually the second thing in this week’s part of the series that touched my heart. The first was the memory verse itself. Another mom and I are starting a mentoring group for our middle school girls. Our first meeting is this Saturday. We are a Whatever Girls group, and Phil. 4:8 is the verse that inspired the creation of the Whatever Girls.

    I can hardly wait to see what else God has in store this week!

    • I love this, Nancy! “Whatever.” How many times have we as parents heard that, especially from the middle school age group? What an inspiration to use that very word as a model to teach those girls how to choose a godly “whatever”! I pray for continued inspiration for you and your friend as you aspire to inspire!

  3. catherine says:

    Whitney thank you for your insight and wisdom. I have 2 sons. My oldest will be 12 this year. I know what you’re saying. Thank you for your godly words I really needed to read today. God bless you girl, you and your son!

  4. I struggle with making discussions based on what People might think of me. I’m sure I’m not the only one, but it is so easy to do. Especially with the way I raise my daughter. I have really made extra effort to make descisions based on what The Lord thinks of me or wants me to do. This study has been exactly what I need right now in my life and I am Sooo blessed my it and seeing God work in my life!

  5. My mind goes to a place of “unforgiveness” toward someone who has continually hurt this family. Almost daily, I am reminded of something this person has done or is continuing to do that hurts the bond of the family. So, I am trying to work on forgiving this person. Some days are easier than others. When I fill my mind with God’s word, my heart and mind soften and I have a different perspective of things.
    Thank you for sharing your story, Whitney.

  6. My own thoughts can distract me. Lies from the enemy. Oh and social media can too. So I have cut down on my Facebook use on the cellphone. Trying to be more intentional with my boys,husband,and just life. It has been rather refreshing too! Having this community to come too and be a part of is such a blessing too!

  7. Beautiful truths to read this morning…thank you

  8. Wendy Boyko says:

    Such encouraging words this morning that have resonated deeply within. God has been confirming for me over and over, in may ways for the past number of months to focus on Him, and not on situations or circumstances. I find I am desperately praying the truths of Phil 4:8 for my girls, for my husband and for myself as we stumble through this broken world.

  9. Appreciate prayers. I’m overwhelmed by commitments & my mind is certainly racing with failure. Couple that with hormones… I’m repeating over & over “PMS is not a license to sin”. Things that are already overwhelming on a regular week sure are magnified this week.
    Not only do I want to think on these things (v8), but I want to practice, pursue to have the peace of GOD (v9). It’s all things we know, it’s all things we would counsel someone else on… breathe it in.

  10. I find myself thinking far to often about things…possessions and how badly I want to go shopping! I get distracted so easily on the things of the world! I often forget to look for what is true, right, pure and all those things. I am so thankful for Gods word! This bible study is such an eye opener and I’m struggling soooooo much but it’s the battle for The Lord!!!!

  11. I feel that I am constantly filling my mind with distractions, namely worry. Yesterday while studying our verses, and searching my Strong’s for the Greek, I was hit with something that I have meditated on since then. Conformed is more of an outward fashioning of something to be like another–Paul warns us not to conform to this world. Transform is more inward-it is also to change into another form, like our word metamorphosis-think butterfly. According to Strong’s, it is the obligation to undergo a complete change under the power of Go and will express itself in character and conduct. Renew is to adjust moral/spiritual vision and thinking to the mind of God which is designed to have a transforming effect upon the life, but we have to be willing.

    Again, it’s like going back to week 1–imitating God.

  12. Can’t tell you how much I loved this post, Whitney! Always love reading what God places on your heart!:)

  13. Thank you for sharing this with us. To all of the ladies that write before me, thank you for sharing your struggles. If I may, I would like to share a post that I wrote because you all need to hear it and know it is true. Ladies, YOU ARE LOVED! When the enemy tries to tell you otherwise, when you focus on what someone else said or did, know in your heart that you are loved by our Great & Mighty God! http://www.lightlovehope.com/food-for-thought/loved/

  14. Denise Ross says:

    True words, spoke to me today too. Thanks for your post

  15. I don’t feel my mind is straying and taking me away from God. I acknowledge I do not give the time to the Lord as I should, and it’s easy to use the excuses that life is busy or that I’m too tired. However, I feel the Lord working through my conscience, guiding me to know and to recognize all that is good and when sin and evil are lurking. Just as this blog is directed, I pray the Lord helps me to teach my children to follow Him and not to stray towards evil, guiding their consciences just as he does mine.

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