“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 ESV
Three weeks until Christmas?? Are you ready for celebrating the birth of our Savior!! So much to do! So little time! But what about ourselves – are our hearts and minds ready?
Dear Heavenly Father –Please help us guard our hearts and mind in preparation for what is coming. Let us learn this task now when the battles are small so we so not have to learn while the battles are great. Help us surrender to you as we go deeper and learn to stand fast in our Liberty. Please open our eyes to see and our understanding to know what we are studying today. Please continue to pour out your grace upon us! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen
This week I was discouraged. I know – I said guard your mind and heart. Moreover the Bible says guard your mind and heart. Yet, it snuck in. It happens. I cannot be defeated by it – I am not condemned. I am convicted unto repentance. Father forgive me, please.
So onward and deeper into the word I must go. It is of course our greatest weapon! I shall encourage myself in the Lord and in His strength, because I am weak and oh so human.
“Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.” Galatians 5:1 NKJV
Tuesday we read this verse in the English Standard Version so today I used the New King James so we can see other choices in wording. Standing firm, standing fast, or back to the Greek root: στήκετε (stēkete) which is from the perfect tense of histemi; to be stationary and to persevere – to be immovable.
I am not in bondage to discouragement. I have no need to throw in the towel. I do not need to go back to the old ways, the old religion, the fleshly me, my ways, or anything else. God is doing a new thing and all I need to do is stand in the freedom wherein Christ has made me free!
“Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:58 ESV
This standing fast, holding steadfast, standing firm, holding fast, all comes from the same Greek root word. And we see it throughout the scriptures.
“Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place,” Ephesians 6:14 NIV
It is even used in the passage about the armor – yes, the armor that we should use to help guard our minds and heart. This requires bravery and courage. This requires we are men and women of immovable faith!
“Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong.” 1 Corinthians 16:13 NKJV
The Bible says it and I believe it – and that settles it.
“because now we really live [in spite of everything], if you stand firm in the Lord.” 1 Thessalonians 3:8 AMP
Stand firm as if your life depends on it – because it does.
Let me tell you about the most powerful thing on earth.
Do you know what it is?
In college I wrote a philosophy paper on this topic: the most powerful thing on earth. It is not a gun, or a conventional weapon, or even the atomic bomb. It is so powerful – even God cannot change it. Wait! DO NOT close the page – hear me out! Yes, God does have a limitation, by His own design.
You see, the most powerful thing on earth is a set mind.
Let me explain: if I set my mind (using the modern American understanding of the word which includes both logical and emotional thinking), if I make up my mind, if I stubbornly cling to an idea I have fixed, then nothing can move me. If I say I believe in the word of God and then you hold a gun to my head and say, ‘change your mind or I will shoot’, then you might as well shoot because if my mind is fixed, a gun will not change my mind. I know of too many martyrs for Christ whose minds could NOT be changed once they were fixed, therefore by their blood I know it is true.
If you try to convince me that the sky is purple when I know it is blue and I believe it is blue, then not even threatening me with an atomic bomb will change my mind. (I may lie and say my mind is changed to try to save other people – but my mind will NOT have actually changed. It is so powerful nothing can move it except itself if it wants to.)
God has given us free will and He will not manipulate that will to make us choose Him. So if your mind is set that there is no God – then He cannot change it (He created that rule). He may soften your heart, He may show you His love and mercy and try to convince you otherwise. But not with manipulation and He will not magically change the fact that you have free will and can choose to set your mind, to stand fast, to hold strong to whatever you choose.
This is why the Bible says over and over again to stand strong, stand fast, hold fast and the such. God knows how powerful our mind is.
“With all these things in mind, dear brothers and sisters, stand firm and keep a strong grip on the teaching we passed on to you both in person and by letter.” 2 Thessalonians 2:15 NLT
The teachings? Oh they mean the Word of God – which is both the Bible and Jesus Himself!
“But that which ye have already hold fast till I come.” Revelations 2:25 KJV
Just today at work I had to be encouraged – and I did not have a Bible with me in my office. But I hold fast to it in my mind and was able to use my mind to recall scripture (I also could have looked it up on the internet or on my phone – but I did not need to because I have held fast to it in my heart – in my mind.)
I did, however, message my prayer partner. You see the numbers of people testing positive for the Coronavirus have increase a lot in our area and I had just received updated statistics. So I passed them along to my friend and said: I wish my eyes see what I know my God is able to do. I wish my eyes saw the spirit world and not the world with so much potential for death and death. I wish my eyes could see the healing and deliverance I so desperately pray for and believe God for. I wish my eyes could see the bubbles of protection I pray over the clients my agency has charge over. I believe – but my eyes are seeing the enemy flaunting what he presumes is a victory. And I know in whom I believe and He is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all I ask or think!
(Please keep my place of employment in prayer – we are a healthcare facility with many medically frail individuals at high risk. We recently had a death attributed to this pandemic. We are praying and believing God will protect these people as well as the people who care for them. That God will be glorified in all of this! Please join us in prayer daily!)
And as I am tempted to be discouraged and although my eyes cannot see what God is doing – I remind myself that I do not need to see because my mind is set! I am standing firm. I am immovable in the promises in the Word of God!
There is great importance in guarding a powerful thing like your mind – because once it is set it can be encouraged to stay.
“Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.” Revelation 3:3 NIV
Oh Lord, I remember what I have received and heard – I hold it fast, and repent! Thank you Lord for letting me have a relationship with you. Thank you Lord for hearing my cries and reminding me to stand fast. Thank you for making me stubborn enough not to quit. I hold fast to your faithfulness and promises. I believe, with my mind guarded and firm. Please help us go deeper with our relationship with you. – Amen
If you don’t already, and today you would like to have a relationship with a God who can communicate with you and be part of your life (and protect you) – one who is full of mighty power and tender love, then please know that I have put the “A, B, C’s of Salvation” in my introduction. Please click here to follow the link.**
Thank you for reading ~ Grace be with you
Be healthy and blessed ~ I love you and love one another
Watch and Pray ~ Seek God & keep your eyes on Jesus!
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!