Tag Archives: renewal

Whose Battle Is It?

26 Jul

Life is hard. The longer we live, the more we know that to be true. However, when we hear ourselves say, “I can’t do this,” it’s time to renew our mind with truth. I can think of at least three possible reasons life seems overwhelming. (You may think of more.)

First, sometimes we can’t do “this” because it’s not our ministry, calling, or responsibility. We may teach when we should organize, i.e. we don’t recognize our gifts. Other times we can’t stand the silence after an appeal for help. Up goes our hand, seconds before the one called by God stirred up courage to volunteer. We can’t do it all. Neither can we take the Holy Spirit’s place. We can’t force anyone to be responsible, mature, or loving. We can only set boundaries and administer consequences.

Second, we don’t realize we can do “this” because we haven’t done “this” before. Some first-time experiences come to mind. Becoming a stepparent. Giving up cigarettes, alcohol, drugs, over-eating, or any other addictions. Giving or receiving forgiveness for abuse, neglect, or abandonment. Dealing with long-term unemployment, debt, or bankruptcy. The list can be endless. Entrusting God with a tough situation comes faster and easier each time we let go.

Third, it’s true I can’t do “this” in my own strength. However, God never intended us to live life alone. (See We Need Supernatural Help) Ponder the following verses.

I can do all things through Him who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13 NASB95).

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might (Ephesians 6:10 NASB95).

This power working in us is the same as the mighty strength which he used when he raised Christ from death and seated him at his right side in the heavenly world (Ephesians 1:20 GNB).

You may have heard “God helps those who help themselves,” but you’ve never read it in the Bible. God searches for people who utterly trust Him. “For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His” (2 Chronicles 16:9a NASB95).

Our part is faith and dependence. God helps those who believe in Him to the extent of complete trust and reliance. He also strengthens those who humble themselves and admit their weakness.

But [God] said to [Paul], “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me (2 Corinthians 12:9 ESV).

Most of us have a weakness we can’t bear to disclose. As God’s teaches me to share my failures, I’ve discovered new freedom and joy and the first step in God’s process. “And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us” (Romans 5:3–5 NRSV).

So when we hear ourselves say, “I can’t do this,” let’s add, “but I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”

Are there other reasons we may feel overwhelmed? What have you learned about trusting God’s strength? Please share your insights and thoughts.

We Have the Mind of Christ

5 Apr

1 Corinthians 2:16, “For who has known the mind of the LORD, that he will instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.” (NASB)

Last blog I asked some questions: What does having the mind of Christ mean? It’s in the Bible, so it must at least be a possibility. Could it be a promise?

It took a life-changing crisis to help me understand the truth of 1 Corinthians 2:16 (above). In the midst of heartbreak and confusion, I sought help from Hud, a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) who came highly recommended. An ordained pastor and PhD, Hud had a biblically based counseling practice. He taught me to think about my thoughts, a process scientists call metacognition. It was new to me, but elementary students now learn the concept. I learned to become aware of my thoughts and their impact on my feelings and behaviors. Hud gave me tools to do what Romans 12:1-2 calls renewing your mind and therapists label cognitive therapy.

Presently, there is exciting brain research to support what the Bible has taught for centuries. We will talk later about how renewing you mind is an identifiable process, but the short answer to our question is, “Yes, we can have the mind of Christ.”

Years after my sessions with Hud, I willingly devoted the time and study it took to became an LPC. I wanted to help others as Hud had helped me. That’s the purpose behind this blog. When I personally applied the truths Hud taught me and later led my clients to do the same, I saw remarkable growth in their lives and mine.

As we mature, we continue to find additional areas that need renewal. But please be patient; God won’t finish with us this side of heaven. He is committed to molding us into the likeness of Christ one step at a time.

My prayer is that you desire to know God in Christ Jesus, and that you have the courage to get to know yourself. As we dig deeply into Scripture, you’ll discover you’re an amazing child of God, blessed with everything you need for the life God’s set before you. He’ll wrap you in His love and cover you with His mercy and grace. You can win every battle when you rely on God’s Spirit who lives within you. He will be your strength, your courage, your mighty warrior. He will lead you into all truth and teach you all you need to know.

Can you identify one area of your life that needs renewal or a place you want to start? I invite you to begin a journal along with this blog. Would you like to share a little about your struggle or share what you want to accomplish? Do you have a question or comment on what we’ve covered so far? If so, please respond by clicking on the link below.