Get Your Mind in Shape!
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity,
but of power, love, and self-discipline.”
2 Timothy 1:7
If this is true (which I fully believe it is), why does fear enter my thoughts at times? Why do I have times of feeling timid and powerless? The King James version of this verse uses the term “a sound mind” instead of self-discipline. Paul wrote this to remind his disciple Timothy that God had given him the ability to discipline his mind. Paul knew that at times we would be faced with fear. Discipline takes effort. When you discipline yourself for better health you set aside food that has no nutritional value and you choose instead food that brings nutrients for your body. You set aside other activities and instead choose exercise even when you don’t feel like it. Discipline is just that, discipline. God has given us the ability to discipline our mind. So how do we do that?
A disciplined or sound mind is one that is quietly focused on truth. The truth of who He is, what He has told us in His Word, and the truth of who we are through Him. My mind, when left to its own way, can naturally fall into worst-case scenario fears. When I allow this I am being undisciplined. My focus is on my fear instead of my God. Undisciplined minds are the cause of anxiety and discouragement. Is it any wonder God made provision for us to have the ability for a sound mind alongside the spiritual gifts of His power and love? Let’s choose thoughts that bring nutrients to our faith level. Let’s exercise by applying truth and strengthening areas of fear weakness. Let’s operate in what God has given us, not in what He hasn’t!
Father, thank you for the ability to strengthen our minds against the things that will keep us weak. Give us the desire to do the work that discipline takes. We know that spiritual fights can only be won with spiritual weapons. Thank you for the upper hand in this battle!