Dead-End Thinking

“…be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Romans 12:2

Sarah’s plan for Hagar to be a surrogate mother to produce an heir “seemed right” to her at the time, but the results were disastrous (Genesis 15-16). Like Sarah, without an eternal perspective, we can easily come up with “good ideas” and let our daily worries direct our steps.

As I travel on through my first journey of The Cry of the Hidden Heart, I’ve experienced several crisis points that have forced me to slow down, reflect, and seek God. Fatigue has taken a toll on my thought life. Sleep disruptions and deprivation are part of my new normal after marrying a night owl and having a baby. Anxious thoughts, worse-case scenarios, and roots of bitterness run rampant in my sleep-deprived mind.

God can use the physical to help move our hearts closer to Him. Sarah and Abraham were not only on a long physical migration to a new land, but also a long spiritual journey into a new way of thinking.

Because “the word of God is living and active” (Hebrews 4:12), it’s essential, even in the busyness of life, to find ways to let Scripture influence how we think. I’ve found that intentionally setting my mind on key truths from Scripture has helped stop thoughts that only lead to a dead end.

Rather than letting my worries spiral out of control, I strive to remind myself, sometimes even out loud: “God provides” (Phil. 4:19). God doesn’t want me wasting my time imagining frightening “what ifs’.” He wants me to have my mind line up with the reality of His word: “The Lord is my helper” (Heb. 13:6).

It’s also all too easy to think the worst of my husband’s intentions instead of assuming the best. Philippians 4:8 is a good litmus test for my thoughts: “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Letting Christ transform my mind means I need to assume that Christ is working to transform my husband’s mind as much as He is working on mine.

Yet nearly every time my husband comes home later than expected or leaves dishes on the counter, I struggle not to judge his motivations. “Having a thought enter our mind is not wrong in itself. But because they are so powerful, thoughts need evaluating,” writes Karen Bacon in Chapter 10. “When we adopt critical thoughts of our husbands, rather than being a life-giver bringing encouragement, support, and joy, we join with the enemy to dispense discouragement, hopelessness and condemnation.”

As you’ve been following along on our road trip, going through the study (past or present), what are some ways you are allowing Christ to condition your thinking to win “The Battle of the Mind”?

Ruth Reynolds

“Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” ~ Colossians 3:2