Seems that each time we talk, anxieties rise to the surface of our conversations. Have you noticed? So, as I’ve prayed for the both of us, Matthew 6:31-33 has returned to speak to my heart. “Do not be anxious….But seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.” Herein lies the key to freedom from worry.
The word “kingdom” stuns me when I look at its original meaning. Thayer’s Greek Lexicon says “kingdom” means “royal power, kingship, dominion, rule – not to be confused with an actual kingdom but rather the right to rule over a kingdom“.
When I seek His right to rule over me first and foremost, I am promised that everything else will fall into place. Could it be that we are worrying about things only as they affect us? “You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spent it on your pleasures” (James 4:3). Are our thoughts desirous of His way of thinking and acting or only our own? When the Lord is truly our Shepherd, we shall have no wants (Psalm 23:1). Let’s pray for this state of surrender within the both of us.
There is so much going on in our heads. We are anxious about so many things. But You’ve shown us the solution. Simply turning to face You.
My friend and I begin this day giving You the right to make our decisions. Regardless of whether it is the time we spend on tasks or free time — the words that come out of our mouths and what we put into them. I ask that You take our every thought captive, underneath Your rule (2 Corinthians 10:5).
Just hoping our thoughts improve isn’t the key. We are both old enough to have tried that self-improvement program and found it useless. Please flow Your own thoughts and emotions within us. Change our desires and make them Your own. When Your people who are called by Your Name humble themselves and pray, and seek Your face and turn from their selfish ways, then You are free to give us what we need and go on to heal our land (2 Chronicles 7:14). May we rest in Your goodness. So be it….
Photo courtesy of Tom Clark.
If you couldn’t guess – I hate mice.
Not necessarily the little pet store ones in the cage, but definitely the field mice variety.
I’ve been noticing a mouse epidemic in our culture. Maybe not the brown furry kind, but the kind that invades our thoughts and emotions. The mice of the mind.
The mice of the mind has quite a few similarities to the furry variety.
For one thing, they tend to be nocturnal. Whatever fear, whatever anxiety, whatever addiction you are facing – they tend to be worse at night. You know what I am talking about. The anxiety that causes insomnia. The dread that drives you to stay on the internet until late into the night. The insecurity that keeps you thinking about what you said, or did, or how you need to change to be acceptable to others.
These anxieties, these insecurities, these interruptive thoughts — they are eating everything in sight. Your faith, your prayerlife, your identity – They chew on whatever is available to them. If they aren’t consuming you, they are building their nest.
And boy can they breed. Once one disparaging thought about your situation is allowed to nest within you, it can quickly breed into doubts of God’s provision in many other ways.
Okay, so we have a mouse problem. What can we do about it?
First, we need to wake up. We spend far too much time avoiding life. Most of our culture spends most of its free time entertaining itself. The internet, television, Netflix, YouTube, Instagram and the list continues. Because we don’t want to spend the energy cleaning up the mess that the mind mice have left, we close our eyes to it with mind numbing activities.
Wake up! You want to be a leader? You want to achieve your dreams? You have ambitions for your future?
Sit up. Don’t try to fill the silence. Use the quiet to pray intently for what is eating you. You have to recognize the rodent before you can capture him. Leaders are separated from everyone else with what they do in their spare time. What are you doing with yours?
Secondly, we need to capture our mice. What is yours? Insecurity? Distraction? Fear? Know when he attacks you and where. Then, prayerfully, make a plan. At first, your attempt may not be any better than my flimsy ziplock baggie, but you must contain the beast. Do you need to uninstall a time-wasting app from your phone? Do you need to download an audio Bible for your free time? Do you need to listen to praise music as you fall asleep? What are you going to do? How are you going to contain the rodents? Closing our eyes to the problem may result in mouse poop on the pillow.
Thirdly, you have to kill him. This part may absolutely baffle or terrify you. Maybe you can’t see your way out. Then go find someone who can. Do you need a prayer partner? An accountability partner? Find someone who will work with you on the goal you know needs to happen – getting rid of the pest.
“Set your mind on things above, not on the (mice) that are on the earth.” (Colossians 3:2).
What is something you can do today to bag a mouse?