My daughter is a beautiful dancer. For three years she was a part of a dance company. While at times it seemed as if movements and technique came easy to her, there were other times when it seemed as if they did not. The reason for this was not that she wasn’t a good dancer, but rather her focus was sometimes off either because of distractions or her confidence was low. It was a seemingly hard task to “keep her head in the game” so to speak. I had to constantly remind her to focus on the end goal – competition, and to focus on improving her technique in preparation for auditions and competitions, but sometimes that focus just was not there. And just like my daughter, we all lose focus from time to time, but what’s most important is that we regain that focus and do everything we can to stay on track and prepare ourselves for what we are designed to do.
“A mind driven by the flesh is hostile to God,” is something that my pastor talked about in a sermon recently, and I’ve been pondering on it ever sense. One thing I find hard to control in life is my mind. A lot of times things just pop up in my head that I’m not even trying to think about. One minute I’m thinking about something really hilarious that happened 10 years ago and the next minute I’m on my way to work thinking about something so random like – “I wonder if the person driving next to me is an undiscovered serial killer flying under the radar” (Hey, I watch a lot of crime shows and documentaries). Needless to say, I find myself constantly having to redirect my thoughts throughout the day. The mind can be a blessing and a curse at the same time as it’s constantly at war with good thoughts battling against the bad.
If my mind was a web browser, I’d have multiple tabs open with all of them being on a different topic – bills, work projects, daughter’s school assignments, scriptures, prayer concerns, what’s for dinner (ugh, LOL), to do list, schedules for the week, my budget, drinking enough water, things I forgot to do the day before, and so on. Does this sound familiar to anyone? I bet it does.
Hi, my name is Kendra and I am an over-thinker, idea hoarder, and I battle with being overly analytical. I get sidetracked easily (sadly sometimes during prayer) and my mind seems to never take a break. If you’re like me, you probably find yourself mentally exhausted, even after what should have been a sufficient amount of sleep. There is a war going on and the battle is in our mind – good vs. evil; positive vs. negative. When I think about it, the mind is an ideal place for the enemy to attack. It holds our perceptions, thoughts, ideas, wisdom and our reasoning. Sometimes it’s so difficult to gain focus in the mind, but yet so easy to distract it. One distraction can completely knock you off of your path and you could find yourself struggling for years to regain your focus.
DON’T LOSE YOUR MIND; FOCUS!
I know it’s easier said than done when your focus is being pulled in every direction – career, education, finances, children, spouses, family members, ministry, every day obstacles, projects, and everything else in between. But remember this – what consumes your mind will control your life. So, where is your focus? What is really driving your mind? What are your distractions? Are you ready to regain focus?
Let’s start here:
- The Flesh – We are in a constant battle with the flesh. More than likely before we sin, we plan it. We’ve already thought it out – the who, what, when, where, and how. If you’re a visual person, maybe you even pictured yourself doing it in your mind. The more thought we put in to committing the sin, the more confident we become in committing the sin. After we sin, we continue to think about the self-gratification that came from it. And if we continue to sin, we think of better ways to sin the next time because we cant stop thinking about the self-gratification. It’s a very vicious cycle. Let us take control of our thought process by denying what the flesh wishes to satisfy. “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5 We must stop all thoughts that go against the word of God at the point that they present themselves to us. That means the thoughts of sin, the negative thoughts that we have about ourselves and others, and those thoughts that have us questioning our faith. Every negative thought can be, and must be countered by the word of God. Otherwise, you will continue to live in opposition with the Father. “The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so.” Romans 8:7
- Set Your Mind – To “set” is to situate or put something in a particular position. I usually will shy away from commitment but when I do commit, I overly commit. I want to help everybody, so once I make a commitment, I more than likely will follow through. When it comes to committing my mind to something, that’s when I have a hard time – usually because of the distractions. But, the one thing that must stay committed is my mind. It is of vital importance that I stay focused on this one thing – the things above. “Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things.” Colossians 3:2 But, what does this really mean? It does not mean that everyday, every hour, and every minute we must think about heaven. But we must think about these things: 1) we have been crucified with Christ – our old self, which was enslaved to sin, is now dead. We do not have to continue to live as we did before we came to Christ. We can be free and we do not have to give in and accept sin as a way of life. 2) We are called not to live as citizens of this earth, but as citizens of heaven. We are to live as those who have been raised with Christ and are awaiting a Savior – live as those who have been brought from the dark to the light, as those who have been brought from death to life.
- Let’s stay saturated – The best way to stay focused on the things above is to saturate your mind with God’s Word. “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” Psalm 119:11 Daily we must devote some of our time to prayer, devotion, scripture reading and meditation (yes, even though our schedules are hectic). Sometimes it is a difficult task, but it’s the only way that His word will dwell within us, and if the word is in us then we are not so easily distracted by what’s going on in this world, but focused on the tasks that he has placed before us.
“The transformed and renewed mind is the mind saturated with and controlled by the Word of God.” ~John MacArthur