September 08, 2012

Be Still

I'm reading the book "You're Stronger Than You Think" by Les Parrott. In the first chapter, the author talks about ways that we can tap into our thinking to help us overcome challenges we face in our lives.

Romans 12:1-2 says “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

"Be transformed by the renewal of your mind." What does it mean to “renew your mind?”

The author wrote:

  • "When we cloud our minds with too much thinking, we lose the strength and clarity we need to make the next move."
  • "When you analyze and re-analyze your problems in an attempt to solve them, you actually lose clarity instead of gain it and are unable to appropriate the resources you need in order to deal with life as you know it."

I'm an analyzer. I replay conversations in my head over and over. I catch myself trying to figure out if I could have said or done something differently. But in all reality, this does no good. It only makes it worse, because it clouds my mind.

We have to find a way to clear our minds. With so many things to think about all the time, how can we clear our minds? How do we turn it off? How do we make it stop?

  • "It is in lonely solitude that God delivers his best thoughts, and the mind needs to be still and quiet to receive them." Charles R. Swindoll
  • "Be transformed by the renewing of your mind - the more we relate to God, the more our brains become attuned to hearing that still, small voice."
  • "If you want to hear from God, you've got to be attuned to his Spirit."

That’s it. It’s pretty simple really. We just have to stop thinking about ourselves, and focus our thoughts on God. Find solitude. Find a moment during the day to just shut everything off, stop dwelling on the busyness, and dwell on God. If you're driving, turn off the radio and listen to God. In the evening, turn off the TV, and listen to God.

  • "When we over-think our own stories, we narrow our perspectives. Our vision shrinks. We limit what could be by complicating our lives with what we think should be."
  • "Oblivious to what God could be doing, we miss the spectacular signs of his activity because we're overly focused on the details and complications of our own lives."

In the midst of chaos, wise, godly decisions still need to be made. It’s hard to make those wise decisions when the world is flying by at a hundred miles an hour!

  • "Wisdom is the by-product of routinely, over time, clearing your head."
  • "Wisdom is what enables us to see the big picture. Wisdom is what enables us to see God."

It’s easy to get caught up in over-analyzing everything. We waste precious time wondering “what-if” I had said or done something differently. We try to figure out what others must be thinking. It’s quite tiring!

It’s also very unhealthy. I need to clear my mind, step back, take in the big picture. What is God doing in the big picture? Ask God to give you wisdom. Stop focusing in on the details of your own story. Follow him in obedience. Listen to the still small voice of God. “Be still and know that I am God.” And then you will be ready to be transformed by the renewal of your mind.

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