My mind is always full. It’s too full and sometimes I can’t even navigate it. My mind is full of a lot of good things and a lot of fear and nonsense. I need someone who sits in there and reads each thought and either sends it to the trash or posts it up in front of my eyes. Good news, God gave us that someone. It’s the Holy Spirit.
Each decision I make is really important. The answer isn’t to take myself less seriously, the answer is to stop depending on my thoughts and my knowledge. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5). This is more than just a perfect verse for your wall, it’s actually a recipe for life. So maybe it’s appropriate that it’s in my dining room.
I try to do the first part of trusting God with all my heart, but then I lean on my understanding. It’s not on purpose; it’s just habit. Let me tell you how that plan has worked for me, for the sake of time I’ll sum it up: it hasn’t.
When I go to what I know and operate out of that, I’m actually trusting myself, not God. As a relatively capable person, it’s really hard not to lean on my own understanding. It takes conscious effort. God has been pursuing me lately in this area and challenging me to let go so that I can see more of Him. I want so much to see more of Him. I am hoping there is some middle ground we can attain before we have to go straight to a lobotomy to get me to stop leaning on my own understanding. I know that seems drastic, but I really want to just be done already.
The way that I look at completion and the way God looks at completion are two very different things. God does things the perfect way, which is usually the really long way. He knows that good things take time. The renewal of my mind is a day by day thing. It will be constant, but not without victory. Every time I yield to the Spirit and ask Him to search my thoughts and know me, He does, and He exposes my motives and desires. Once He helps me identify my thoughts, they can be refocused on things that are true, noble, pure, and excellent (Philippians 4:8). Once we get my agenda out of the way, I can refocus on God’s agenda.
This is how I “acknowledge God in all my ways” and then “He can direct my path”. It’s just a new habit. This means that once you start practicing taking your thoughts to God for evaluation, the more it will just become what you do. I’m not there yet, but I’m getting there and it’s taking less conscious effort on my part to actually acknowledge God every day and ask Him to direct my thoughts which then direct my path. It is a process. I am celebrating every success.
I need to take my longing for completion and see it for what it really is, a longing for heaven. I won’t be complete until I get home. Neither will you, and there is great freedom in realizing that God doesn’t expect perfection or completion here on earth. But one day, when the perfect comes the partial will pass away, and we will see Him face to face (1 Corinthians 13:10-12). When we finally see Him face to face everything partial will fall away. Until then, I’m taking one thought at a time and bringing it to the Holy Spirit to ask if I pin it up because it will last or throw it out.
Father, as we long for home, help us reach for it one step at a time. Thank you that you celebrate our progress and don’t expect perfection from us. Help us to let that illusion go as well. Direct our thoughts so that you can direct our paths. Help us know that safety of bringing our anxious thoughts to you. Encourage our hearts to keep at it because it’s worth it. In Jesus name, Amen.