Psalm 143:8

Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.
Psalm 143:8

Monday, July 15, 2013

Take Every Thought Captive Challenge - Week 2

I have to admit, that I haven't focused on this as much as I like this past week.  I've been a little bit of a "short-timer" knowing that I have a week of vacation at the beach coming up...anticipation of getting out of town! 

That being said....I'd like to propose something rather practical here....sometimes that anticipation, distraction, future-focused thinking needs to be reigned in a bit.  Sometimes...wouldn't you say?...those thoughts need to be taken captive, too.  (Stay with me here...this is all tumbling around and hopefully, it will make some sense by the end of this post.)

"Yes," you may be thinking, "but those are thoughts about fun things, relaxing things, much-needed-vacation things!"  And they are.  But what are those thoughts displacing right now?  Are they getting in the way of your work-time thoughts?  Are they getting in the way of your parental duties?  Are they getting in the way of things you need to be getting done on a deadline?  Are you procrastinating getting things done because you are anticipating relaxing?  The relaxing will come....the time you lose being focused on it before it's time for it...will never come back. 

I'm not saying you can't be spending time thinking about your to-pack and to-do lists, and preparing for that fun event...but you should be controlling those thoughts so that you can be focused on the right-now aspects of your life, too. (One thing I find helpful, is to write those lists and then set them aside until the proper time.  Done.  Draw back your focus on now...)

For instance, I have a talk that needed to be written before my vacation.  It got down to the last morning at home and write-up.  I've been more focused on what I will wear at the beach or how much money to take with me or how many more times I need to go to the store before we leave.  I've allowed my thoughts to become distracted from things I should be focused on.  I've allowed myself to set aside work that needs to be done in order to anticipate the fun that's coming. 

Funny how the theme for the week at the beach (it's a trip for the high school kids at our church) is Colossians 3:23...or maybe not so funny, after all.  Maybe God had a hand in all think? 

23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord

God provided me with the job I have, that I need to focus on when I am at work.  God provided me with the children I have, that I need to focus on when I am with them.  God provided me with the house I live in, that I need to focus on when it's time to do that, too.  God gave me the opportunity to speak, even though the thought of it makes my knees knock together, and I need to focus on my responsibility there, tooGod gave me the vacation to take a rest, too....and when the time is right, I will focus on that as well.  

In the meantime, I have things to work on, as working for the Lord.  And I need to focus my thoughts...take every thought captive...

It's not always easy, but it is necessary to form this new habit: 

  "...and we take every thought captive to make it obedient to Christ."     
 2 Corinthians 10:5

Hebrews 12:1-2
12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.

Our own thoughts can hinder us.  Our own thoughts can keep us from doing the things we must do.  Our own thoughts can get in the way of plans God has for us.  Take every thought captive.

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