Have you ever been going about your day focused when “WHAM” you had a trigger that sent your thoughts back days, weeks, or even years into the past? Thoughts that you wished never occupied your mind? This happens to me far too often. I have grown weary over the years of fighting the “mind games,” or should I say, “Fighting the battle of the mind.” What I have experienced is that whether I resist (fight) or not, the thoughts still come…but at least in the fight, there is the prospect of victory. Now you may scratch your head at this point wondering how a daily battle for the mind can fit any definition of victory…but it does.
The thoughts in my mind affect my attitude, my mood, my actions, and even my faith. The thoughts come when they are least expected, often triggered by a smell, a voice, a sound, a touch, a discussion, or a picture. The thoughts I am talking about are destructive, shameful, hurtful, and are crushing to my soul.
I am in no way inviting these thoughts! I do not want my thoughts to cloud over my day. I want my thoughts to be uplifting, joyful, pure, and edifying. I want my thoughts to bring victory! Getting to victory is not passive though. It requires active DISCIPLINE.
“For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.” (2 Timothy 1:7, NASB)
How do I fight the battle?
I change the channel of my mind!
The television can be used as an example of this type of discipline. How often have you been watching a program and a commercial comes on that affects you negatively? Commercials that use sex to sell kitchen items, preview of a new “X rated” mini-series, or the latest pharmaceutical ad that lays out all your symptoms and tells you to go to the doctor or die! We can sit there and let it make an imprint in our minds or pick up the control and change the channel. Better yet hit the “previous channel button” for a quick change.
I have to discipline myself to protect my mind and choose the thoughts I allow to occupy it.
Now I may not have a remote control to change the channel of my mind but God gives me the “power and discipline control” to choose what I think about.
When I have a trigger that brings on an unwelcomed thought, then I have another thought prepared to meditate on. As I focus on this replacement, the old thought fades away. In essence I change the channel of my mind! 🙂
One station has my life verse playing a “marathon.” In other words, I replay my life verse until it takes over.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God. And the peace of God, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)
Another verse I love to meditate on is Philippians 4:8:
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things.”
Simply changing the channel to the “Word of God Marathon” restores control of my mind (and all it affects) to Christ.
Have you struggled with triggers unleashing a barrage of unwelcomed thoughts? If so, perhaps you should subscribe to a new channel that you can switch to. A powerful and personal Scripture. A focus that provokes joy rather than pain. In this is victory! Our great God has given you the POWER to choose and in it, the pathway to a life of abundance.