Do you ever have days where everything you hear, read, or see seems to point in the same direction? At those times, I feel like maybe God is hinting for me to sit up and take notice. It’s been happening to me lately and the message I’m hearing is so good I decided to share it with you.
At our Sisterhood Bible Study a couple of weeks ago, the speaker Emily spoke on the topic “The Mind of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 2:16 says that Christ-followers have the mind of Christ. “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ” (ESV).
Now, I don’t know about you, but I don’t very often feel like I have the mind of Christ. Yet, that’s what the Bible says. Emily went on to say that our senses—sight, smell, taste, hearing, and touch—don’t always report the truth to us. For instance, you may have heard bad news, read a frightening report on your health, or seen danger coming your way, and felt like God has deserted you. But God says, “It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed” (Deuteronomy 31:8 ESV). By the way, if that one verse doesn’t convince you, here’s a whole page of verses to remind you that God is always with you.
Emily reminded us that when what we see doesn’t line up with what God said, we should trust in what he has spoken! Don’t let your senses be the determining factor in what is real, let God define what is real! “We are always moving in the direction of our strongest thought,” Emily shared. So, where are your thoughts leading you? Are you focused on the problem or the problem-solver?
It is easy to focus on our problems. When I don’t feel well or something in my body hurts, it’s easy for me to get depressed and think, “It’s always going to be like this. I’ll probably never get well. This pain will never stop!” Do you think like that, too? Well, if we are moving in the direction of our strongest thought, then guess what? Those thoughts are just going to make things worse. So how do we change that?
Enter the second example in my little “Hints from God” situation. I was reading a book that is a take-off from Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde called The Man He Never Was by James Rubart (great book, by the way). In one section of the book, a story is told–and I’m greatly condensing it here–about a child who wants to grow up to be a moral man. He asks his father how to do that and his father tells him the story of a dark dog (who represents evil) and a white dog (who represents good). The father contends that both good and evil reside within us so the boy assumes he’s supposed to control the dark dog. But his father explains, “Controlling the dark dog is impossible.” He goes on to tell his son that whichever dog is stronger will win the battle, so the son must feed the white dog within him and starve the dark dog. (Don’t call PETA. There are no real dogs being starved—it’s an analogy.)
As soon as I read this part, I thought to myself, “Feed the good dog.” And what is the best food for the good dog? The Word of God. It’s not high in calories, of course, but it’s loaded with wisdom and is the perfect food for our soul. And, if we want to move in the direction of our strongest thoughts, we need to feed our “thoughts” good words.
God’s third “hint”—a trifecta of hints, if you will—came from the devotional The Book of Mysteries by Jonathan Cahn. The devotion for the day was titled The Resistance Secret, and Cahn talked about how our bodies get stronger when we exercise. We all know that, of course, but he went on to say that the same is true in our spiritual lives. When we practice faith during a hard time, we actually build up our faith. When we trust God during a storm, we actually walk away from it with an increased amount of trust in God. I wrote it in my journal like this: Hope begets hope, faith begets faith, trust begets trust, and courage begets courage.
When I put all of those “God hints” together, it appeared that he was trying to remind me that my “thoughts” matter. I need to make sure I’m feeding good thoughts and words to my soul in an effort to make my “good dog” grow stronger. The more I practice this, the more likely I am to start thinking good thoughts when my world starts crashing in. It’ll be easier for me to trust God because I’ve practiced trusting him.
What are you feeding your soul? Maybe today would be a good day to consider your thoughts.
Nancy loves to laugh and considers laughter a critical part of human survival. If you were to ask, most days she would say her glass is half full but when it starts reaching the half-empty level, she reaches for a funny book or movie knowing that indeed “A cheerful heart is good medicine.” Nancy has three married sons and five grandchildren. To read more from Nancy find her at www.nancyholte.com.