Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Peace Through Practice

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things; and the God of peace shall be with you. Philippians 4:8-9 NASV (Paul’s letter was written from prison.)

I am taking James MacDonald’s Bible study Lord, Change My Attitude. In week two he made this statement about our emotions. “Emotions make a great caboose but a terrible engine.” I had to learn that gem by experience. God was faithful to deliver me from the bondage of living in my emotion laden soul.

I was saved in my late 20’s and within two years had my first child followed twenty-one months later by the birth of my second child. To say that I was hormonal would be an understatement. I know that my Father was sympathetic, but He also knew the enemy was having a field day with me. One day I would wake up and all would be right with the world. The next day I would FEEL that I was failing in my walk, my motherhood, at being a wife, _________ fill in the blank. I would FEEL such condemnation. The first thing the Lord showed me was Romans 8:1-2 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. God does not condemn us, He convicts us. He will be specific in his dealings, loving in his manner, and empowering by his Spirit. General FEELINGS of unworthiness and failure should not be tolerated.

Then the Lord put in my hands a quote by Martin Luther. It ministered so profoundly that I had a friend calligraphy the statement and frame it. That was 30 years ago and it is still on display at my house.

Feelings come and feelings go,
And feelings are deceiving.
My assurance is the Word of God,
Naught else is worth believing.

The great theologian who started the Reformation had to remind himself of this. We would do well to allow the Lord to engrave it on our hearts. We must make our emotions bow to the truth of His word. If you allow your emotions to be the engine you will find your track is a roller coaster. Up one day and down the next. The enemy loves to play with emotions in moments of weakness. Jesus left us an example when he was tempted in the wilderness. The weapon He used to defeat His enemy was the Word of God. “It is written”…..Replace whispered lies with spoken truth.

Our thoughts affect our emotions. It isn’t a sin for a bird to light on your head, but to let it stay and build a nest is. A negative, lying, or sinful thought that comes to my mind isn’t a sin, but is to be brought into alignment and obedience to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5 It only becomes sin if I let it “build a nest.” I entertain the thought, let it stay, and become at home in my heart and mind. How do we identify wrong thinking? Philippians 4:8-9 tells us what to think on and delivers an amazing promise with a condition. I would suggest that if you ever memorize Scripture that you memorize this one. It will help you identify healthy thinking. Then Paul says, “Practice these things,” that means habitually, present tense, continuous action, “and the God of peace will be with you.” The enemy or your flesh will tell you it is too hard to bring your thoughts into alignment with the Word. The opposite is true. Nothing is more draining or defeating than negative, unbiblical thinking. If you invite the Holy Spirit to help you overcome, He will.

MY PRAYER: Lord, I ask your Holy Spirit to help me take every thought captive. I no longer want to stand on the shifting sands of my emotions, but stand on the bedrock of your truth.
MY CONFESSION: The things I have learned and received I will practice. The God of peace will be with me. I stand on Your Word.


Adonya said...

Wow I am just now reading your blog and I am so much enjoying the smorgasbord. It's absolutely you and has your signature all over it!

You have really outdone yourself and are a gifted writer. I love this blog about Peace through Practice....especially. I could so much relate to you; that as a matter of fact, filling in the blank for me was just a few short weeks ago. Thanks be to God that His mercy's are new each and every day or I'd be in a heap of trouble.

Glad to hear you are mobile again. Keep writing and keep on keepin on. This blog is wonderful and one of the first few I have ever visited...your's being the best by far!

You have always been an inspiration to be and I am eternally grateful for our sisterhood! You bring forth light and truth and do not waver, and as always admire your obedience. May God continue to pour out His favor and His words of life so that we can all benefit from this.

Love and Miss you,
Adonya A.

Carol Ray Lackland said...

Hey Adonya,
Thanks for checking out the blog and for your encouraging remarks.

I have a doctor's appointment Wed. and take off for Fl. Thurs. I hope they can give me an all clear. I've tried to be good and do what they said but it has been hard. I'm just too use to being foot loose and fancy free:-)

Love ya girl and I really miss you, Dane and the kids.