...the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. ~ John 14:26, NIV
Christ-conscious instead of self-conscious, Christ-minded instead of flesh-minded -- this has become the desire of my heart. I am impoverished, unable to make this my reality. Thankfully, this desire originated from God. He has promised that the Spirit, who lives within me, will bring Christ's words to my mind. Though I am powerless to change myself, I do have a role -- I must read, meditate on and memorize God's words. I must make a deliberate choice to believe His thoughts over my own thoughts.
In every moment, in every situation, I have a choice: will I believe what God says or will I believe what my flesh says?
For the majority of my adult life, I have struggled with illness. Because of this, I have often felt like my life was void of significant purpose. These thoughts were untrue, but I believed them -- allowing them to rule my mind and crush my spirit. Through time in God's Word and answered pleas for understanding, my outlook was adjusted; the Spirit helped me discern God's thoughts on the situation and flesh-minded was replaced with Christ-minded.
Am I still taunted by these flesh-minded thoughts? Absolutely. But the Spirit has shown me what is true. Each time these thoughts taunt, I can choose to believe what He has revealed to me instead of the fleshly thoughts that desire to defeat me.
Below are some of the flesh-minded thoughts that have deceived me along with the Christ-minded thoughts that have freed me:
"Some days I am too weak to even do the small things around my house, perhaps the Lord has put me on the shelf...perhaps He no longer desires to use me."
...he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. ~Philippians 1:6 (NIV)
"Because I do not have a big life, my life lacks purpose."
"We are meant to be...the common stuff of ordinary life exhibiting the marvel of the grace of God." ~Oswald Chambers, My Utmost For His Highest
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. ~Ephesians 2:8-10 (NASB)
"My day-to-day is filled with the mundane. I have such a small life; my life is lacking in value."
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light." ~I Peter 2:9 (NIV)
"As we surrender every moment to our loving Lord, even the most mundane task is marked by the musical accompaniment of His pleasure." ~CDS
"Add to the Beauty", by Sara Groves, is one of my favorite songs. The first verse and chorus of this song says:
~We come with beautiful secrets. We come with purpose that's written on our hearts,
written on our souls. We come to every new morning with possibilities only we can hold, that only we can hold. Redemption comes in strange places, small spaces, calling out the best of who we are...and I want to add to the beauty, I want to tell a better story, shine with the light that's burning up inside~
I cannot think of a more beautiful way to honor the Lord this Christmas -- and every day -- than by surrendering to what He desires for my life, beginning with my very thoughts. As I do, the beauty that He has in store for me will be revealed and the possibilities that only I can hold will become reality.
May your Christmas celebration be filled with His beauty~
From time to time in the next weeks and months, I will continue this Conformed to Transformed Series, sharing the Christ-minded thoughts that are little by little, moment by moment, replacing my flesh-minded thoughts.