Your Righteous Mind- Donald Lawrence & Company
Have you been guilty of being ungrateful lately? Have you been complaining about what’s going wrong in your life instead of what’s going well? Have you been failing to see the good in a bad situation? Have you been focusing on what you don’t have instead of being grateful for what you do have? Have you been frustrated with God because of what He permitted to happen in your life instead of thanking Him for what He prevented from happening in your life? If that’s you, it’s time for an attitude adjustment and it all starts with the mind. How are you thinking today? What do you see? Did you know that it is possible to be in the worst situation and still have joy?
“On May 31, 2014 I visited the State of Tennessee Department of Correction Prison for Women in Nashville to minister to incarcerated women. Although I was discouraged not to go by some, I still went and chose to keep my mind set on Isaiah 61:1, which says, “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound..”
And so as I entered behind the prison walls that day, it was truly amazing to see how joyful and happy they were despite their circumstances. Despite what was going on in their lives, they still had a praise in their hearts. They still had smiles on their faces despite the fact that some of them had been in prison for over 10 years and hadn’t even served half of their sentence. Seeing them in their condition humbled me and made me think twice about how “BIG” we think our problems really are. Many of them are just like us, and truth be told, some of us belong where they are, but by the grace of God we just didn’t get caught or we got a second chance.”
Although these women may have been physically in prison, they were mentally and spiritually free in their hearts and minds. They have made a decision by choice to be free despite being locked up behind prison bars. They had the mind of Christ (Phillipians 2:5).
And so unlike the prisoners, we are physically free, but a lot of us are locked up in our minds. Sure, we can go and come as we please, but some of us have given the enemy permission to take ownership of our minds by allowing him to make us dwell on the past, dwell on hurts that have caused unforgiveness and by making us live in doubt and fear, thus, causing us to be prisoners of our own minds. So, even if we go and come as we please, our thoughts in our mind still go with us causing us to remain in prison, bound by the enemy’s lies..CONSTANTLY.
It is important that we take hold of the PHREEDYM that Christ has promised us. In Ephesians 4:27, the Bible clearly states, “Neither give place to the devil.” This means, we are not to allow the enemy space to control us or our minds. We are not to allow him access or any grounds to wreak havoc in our thoughts. When we do this, we begin to see more of the bad instead of more of the good.
How do we block access to the enemy? By renewing the spirit of our mind daily with the Word of God. Ephesians 4:23 says, “And be renewed in the spirit of your mind. ” When we renew our minds, it gives us a fresh new thought process. It gives us a whole new way to think. When we get that renewal, it makes it hard for the enemy to feed your thoughts with lies and doubt because you are focused on truth and faith.
Don’t let the enemy attack your mind today. Be on guard. 1 Peter 5:8 says, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” This means that the enemy is waiting for a chance to “prey” on you. And when does the enemy attack? The enemy strikes the quickest and strongest when its “prey” is weak.
Below are pictures of a lion attacking a warthog. The warthog is taken by surprise because the warthog was unaware that there were lions in the bushes where he made his habitat. The warthog tries to get away, but is ultimately overtaken, captured and devoured by the lion. And the same goes for us, if we are not “sober” or “vigilant,” we will be overtaken by the enemy. We must guard and protect our minds and hearts.
If you are a child of God, you are a target. Anything that the enemy can use against you to take you off of the battlefield, he will use it. And most of the time, he starts with the manipulation of your mind. The brain is what controls the rest of the body. If he can throw your mind off, he’s won half of the battle because we then begin to operate in fear and doubt. And when we operate in fear and doubt, we become powerless and weak. Just as God is no respector of persons (Romans 2:11), the enemy isn’t either. He could care less about how much money you make, what kind of job you have, what kind of car you drive or what kind of home you live in. His PRIMARY job is to steal, kill and destroy. And if he can do it, he will, especially if you allow him access to do it.
So, if you are a target and you know it, then why not take action against the enemy? Why would a competitor “forfeit” and allow its opponent or adversary to take him out without a fight? Even the warthog in the pictures above tried to fight back knowing that he might lose the battle, but in his mind, there was still hope. The person who forfeits is the person who either thinks they’ve lost already or they just simply don’t want to fight for the win. A lot of times we practically give the enemy an advantage because we don’t fight back. We give up too easy. Have you given up hope?
The Word of God is the best weapon you can use to fight the enemy and the thoughts that he tries to place in your mind. Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” The Word of God helps us to distinguish between the truth and a lie. We can’t live without it. We need it for clarity. We need it for truth and a guide to help us see the best in the midst of the worst situations. Fight back like your PHREEDYM depends on it. Don’t become a prisoner of your own mind.
A special thank you to Treva Gordon, Team Purpose and Chaplain Walker who gave me the opportunity to minister to prisoners. Let us continue to keep those who are incarcerated in our prayers and thoughts.