I've listened to two "Wednesdays with Beth" talks titled “Claiming Your Right to a Sound Mind” a few times over the last week or so. I love listening to Beth as she not only gets deep into the Word, but she puts it into a practical sense and she has a wild sense of humour!
Now, a sound mind is something that I have not had 24/7 over the last few years, and especially over the last 10 months or so. I am A LOT better mentally (and emotionally) now than compared to how I have been in a long time. This is partly due to the little white pills I take, but it is mainly due to the revelations I have had from God about why I was getting anxious and depressed and what I was required to do to start on the path to healing.
One of the revelations was that I didn't realise that I had to let God heal me; not try and heal myself. I had been taking the burden of my unsound mind upon myself and furthering my turmoil by thinking that I had to fix me; that it was my own fault I was like I was. What an absurd way of thinking! For starters, I didn't even really know what was wrong with me! This need to “fix” myself let to panic, which Beth talks about during these talks. She says that "panic leads to poor decisions" and that "panic leads to manic". How true is that!
Relying on our decisions when not having a sound mind leads us to quench the Spirit, which we should not do. This is something that I am learning to overcome…slowly, but surely. Quenching the Spirit means that we’re not letting God do what He has to do. It also leads to haste and waste. Haste leads to waste in life, which is what panic will give us; waste. It will waste our time, our resources and abilities and waste us of our dignity and strength. Wasting time trying to sort out our problems, talking to friends to get their take on things (which sometimes IS important as far as admonishment and mentoring go!) and burying the problem in the hope that it will go away are just a few of the things we do that quench the Spirit.
My sound mind started to be restored last year when I accepted Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV) as an absolute truth -
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
The key words for me in this passage of scripture are "which transcends all understanding". We need to accept that there are many things in our life that we will just never understand, and trying to understand such things will lead to a very unsound mind! Yours truly is living proof of this (and pardon the Beth Moore pun there).
These verses also offer many gems of advice: don't be anxious, go to God with thanks, petition and prayer, and to guard our hearts and minds. This all requires us taking control of what we think about. Don't let anxious thoughts take over. Focus our minds on God and His Word and promises to us. Stop negative thinking taking over our thoughts, what we say and our actions. Train our minds to only accept positive and productive thoughts.
The two preceding verses to the above (Philippians 4:4-5) are very relevant to obtaining and maintaining a sound mind -
"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near."
(Check out the Amplified Version of these verses for a very worthwhile expansion.)
Rejoicing in the Lord helps us to keep our focus on God. It keeps Him at the forefront in our minds. He is near and is with us 24/7. He is omnipotent; He has power over everything, which means power over our circumstances and our minds. He is omnipresent; He is everywhere at the same time, which means that He sees and knows everything concerning us.
Be glad for His constant presence, and rejoice in His infinite knowledge, wisdom and love for you! I know that I have done over the last 10 months. Just knowing that He knows all has been such a blessing to me. I have cried tears of joy and pain...countless tears. The tears of joy are from knowing that "He Is". There is no other way to describe His presence in my life.
He wants so much for us to have a sound mind. The enemy will try everything and anything to make us think that we don't have a one, that our thinking is off, and that God is disappointed in us because we don't have it all together. Lies ... arrows in the day and terrors in the night. Rest in God, focus on God and be calmed by the knowledge that "He Is" ... all day, every day and for all time.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for being the ever-present and ever-loving God that You are to us. Thank You for being our peace of mind when our human minds cannot handle life and all that it entails. Thank You for the reassurance that You have everything under control and that in You alone we can obtain and maintain a sound mind. In Jesus’ Mighty Name, Amen.