Saturday, April 16, 2011

Pace Yourself- Preparing the Mind

With such excitement, it is hard not to want to just go out and run as fast as you can as long as you can. But just like training to run a marathon, one doesn't just decide one day to go and run it. They must pace themselves and train for it. They must first build up enough endurance to run the race. Then the next step is to not just survive, but to run it well. In order to achieve this, you must pace yourself.

As expected a great amount of joy and excitement was followed by an attack. The week after my last entry, I became ill. My body tired, heavy, achy. I had a sudden onset of fatigue and joint pain, no other symptoms. Lots of blood work and no actual diagnosis though as I presumed, a colleague confirmed a certain viral illness was what came over me. It was sudden. It depleted my energy. It did not take away my joy, but it did make it hard to stay strong. That initial day I was sick, my prayers even seemed to take a tremendous effort. Not sharing with many, but in reflection I realized this could be a spiritual attack. I knew it would not last. I knew whose side I was on and that the enemy would not win. I was so tired I could not physically get the words out of my mouth to pray. My body felt like there was a heavy weight pressed upon it. My thoughts knew that this would not last. So I rested. I rested my body, so my mind could fight the battle my body could not.

One would think the first thing one must do when preparing for battle would be to strengthen one's body. However, the body is human flesh. It is prone to injury, illness, and weakness. So through this experience, I have learned first I need to prepare my mind. When the body is weary, the mind can keep fighting. Why? It is in that mind where thoughts declare in faith the Lord's word and promises. Faith that begins in the mind. Jesus told those he healed, your faith has healed you. Faith in what? Self will to become better? No. I fail myself all the time. I even lie to myself at times. It is the faith in Christ that heals us. It is the faith that the Lord, who never fails, will never fail us. It is the realization that in our weakness, he will give strength. It is knowing that where I am weak, the Lord shall be my strength and lift me up on wings like eagles so that I may soar. He will not grow tired or weary, though my body will. (Isaiah 40) In Christ I can do all things because he strengthens me.(Phillipians 4:13)

So I prepare my mind to seek first the Lord, to realize he is strong when I am weak, and to be still and listen for his whisper, so that I can discern his will. My prayer this week comes from Psalm 119. A lengthy Psalm, but it draws me in, and this particulary stood out:
33 Teach me, LORD, the way of your decrees,
that I may follow it to the end.
34 Give me understanding, so that I may keep your law
and obey it with all my heart.
35 Direct me in the path of your commands,
for there I find delight.
36 Turn my heart toward your statutes
and not toward selfish gain.
37 Turn my eyes away from worthless things;
preserve my life according to your word.
38 Fulfill your promise to your servant,
so that you may be feared.
39 Take away the disgrace I dread,
for your laws are good.
40 How I long for your precepts!
In your righteousness preserve my life.

As I prepare my mind, I must ask the Lord to teach me and guide me in His perfect truth,not the world's interpretation, not the world's desires, not my own desires and interpertations. But may God's Holy Spirit fill me and the Lord of my heart and soul guide me and lead me in His perfect truth. As his word promises I can be confident of this, that he who began a good work in [me] will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.(Phillipians 1:6)

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