Over the years my husband and I have learned that if we want to keep our relationship alive we have to make each other a priority. We have to keep doing the things we know works. It is essential that we talk and listen…not just listen, but listen attentively. We have to forgive, love and give generously. My husband has taught me the importance And the truth is the really important stuff have to stay a priority.
Most important relationship can grow stale.
The truth is our relationship with God can grow stale too. It’s not that we exactly stop loving Him or anything like that, it’s just that life piles in on us. And, before we know it we are over committed and over whelmed. It is so easy to skip the things that are not tied to a due date or an emergency. Prayer. Bible Study. Worship. All fall in that category. Necessary. Essential even, but if we aren’t careful can lose their place on our schedule.
I believe Mark 12:29-30 holds a very important key to keeping important things a priority. “Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The LORD our God is the one and only LORD. 30And you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’
Have you ever really looked at the words in that verse? And while I memorized the verse years ago, I missed the words…”all your mind.” Somehow I didn’t realize that my spirit (heart and soul), mind (thoughts) and body (strength) were all involved and worked together in the loving process.
A Sad truth…
I loved God with all my heart…but because I let my emotions get in the way, there was some areas that I didn’t obey Him. I can wrap my disobedience in all kinds of pretty excuses, but it’s still sin. Lately, I’ve learned I need to love God with my mind too.
Emotional maturity is shaped out of mental maturity
1 Corinthians 14:20 NIV Brothers and sisters, stop thinking like children. In regard to evil be infants, but in your thinking be adults.
How do children think?
They think it’s fun to play in the street. They think the wall is a great place to draw and they think they should stick sharp things into the outlets.
And what they believe will get them in big trouble. Their thinking is influenced by their lack of knowledge and their immaturity.
So what does a parent do? Parents train their children. They guide them. They give them facts and a value system that guides them in making right choices instead of simply reacting.
Train your mind like you would a child.
1 Timothy 4:7 But reject irreverent and silly myths. Instead, train yourself for godliness.
As a believer, the thoughts and ideas that shape our beliefs and attitudes must be filtered through truth. I know a lady that loved her mother deeply, but nothing she did could change what that mother believed. She believed a lie and that lie kept her from having a relationship with her daughter. Pain from the mother’s childhood deceived her heart.
The first sin came as a result of deception. Deception continues to be a dangerous trap. That is why it is so important to make Scripture a priority in your life.
I know all to well how easy that we can become so busy that it is difficult to find time to nourish our thinking with God’s Word. With technology we have the opportunity to turn precious moments into spiritual nourishment, reminders and goads that get us back on track. If you are like me, podcasts are one of those ways to learn and grow while I drive or clean house.
That’s why I’m starting a new podcast. I want to give you regular reminders, encouragement, stories and illustrations to build your faith and help you stay connected with God. I want to help you stoke your fire and I want to help you keep your relationship with God a priority. It’s called Pat’s View.
Click here to listen on iTunes. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast so you don’t miss anything.
I’ll be launching it in the next few days.
It will be a 21 day focus on “Thinking God’s Way for a Change.”
I don’t know where you are in your walk with God, but I’m hungry for more of Him. I want my life to bring glory to God. If I want change, I must change what I believe. I must base my life on truth, not public opinion.
Let me explain with one of our adventures.
We were making our way home from a conference in Kansas when we decided to stop in Jackson, MS to see their capitol building.
Built in 1903 in the ornate Beaux Arts style. Like 30 other state capitol buildings it had a large magnificent dome that crowns the building regally. I love the mindset of the Architect Theodore Link, “The style adopted is a pure renaissance classic of dignity and elegance of proportion which will fittingly express the power, honor, and stability of the State.
more from flickr.com
Twelve of the capitol buildings in the U.S. choose a totally distinct style and left off the dome entirely. That would break Bernard Green (a consultant to the State House Commission’s heart) He said, “A Capitol, of all buildings, should be strikingly massive, grand, noble…at once recognizable over all other buildings in the neighborhood as the Capitol.” The Mississippi State capitol does that grandly!
Our tour began inside the rotunda looking up into the dome. It was breath taking as was everything I saw. The ornate Mississippi capitol building with all its shiny columns, stained glass, tall doorways, beautiful paintings, lavish moldings and opulent furnishings was indeed a reflection of that goal.
The building décor includes 11 different kinds of marble (The kid in me says, marbles? Let’s play.) On the third and fourth floor instead of marble, they used a less expensive art process called scagliola. It produced walls and columns that had the marbling effect and shiny finish, but they could be made with sharper and richer colors.
I thought it was marble until our tour guide corrected my error.
A bigger error.
I didn’t realize that I was about to meet a man that was concerned with a much bigger error that would affect a lot more people.
As we continued the tour, our guide explained that although the regular legislative session had ended the House was currently in special session to complete their budget. She added, but I think they are gone for the day, so let’s see if we can get inside to see the House Chambers.
As we entered the room I began to pray silently. Actually I had already been doing lots of that, because I understand that important decisions are made in that beautiful building. There was one representative in the room. He greeted us warmly. I respect busy people, so I was hesitant to say anything more, except I felt like God wanted me to ask him a question. “Is there anything that you would like for me to pray about?
He thought for a minute then he explained. “Truth. Pray that truth will be spoken here. That might surprise you, but the greatest need in this room is for truth.”
Can I expand that scope?
The whole world needs truth.
But I also want to narrow that scope…
You need truth.
I recently read a serious warning for everyone with a hummingbird feeder. It warned against using artificial sweeteners in a bird feeder. It said the birds might die very quickly of starvation because there are no calories to sustain them.
And that is exactly what is happening in our culture. Lies don’t come with a warning or poison label. When your mind is fed lies, those lies will shape what you believe. You will be deceived. Your mind won’t automatically spit out lies like you would spoiled milk, so you have to train your mind with truth.
Knowing truth helps you recognize and reject lies.
John 17:17 NLT makes that process really clear. “Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth.”
In the next few days I’ll invite you to join me for a free 21 day journey to help you “Think God’s Way for a Change.” When we change how and what we think, we change our actions too!
Thinking God’s Way will shape your attitudes, your beliefs and your actions. It will bring healing and hope to your heart. It will challenge you and change you. It’s time to feed your faith and starve your fear. It’s time to win more battles and walk in the Spirit instead of your carnal desires. It time to experience more joy, more peace and even sleep better. Your thoughts matter more than you think… it’s time to change what you think and how you think. So if you’re ready for some change…please join me as I launch my brand new podcast…Think God’s Way for a Change!