It was time to write my weekly blog post and I had writer’s block. I opened my son, Craig’s, First 15 devotional and began to read. I reached the meditation portion and was praying through a verse when the noise interrupted my time with God— and inspired this blog post.
His title that morning was, Renewing Your Mind. “Perfect,” I thought. I read through his words and once again fought the parental pride that sometimes happens. I used to hold Craig’s hand, now he holds onto God’s. His thoughts and words were profound and caused me to realize that my own mind was blocked by unimportant and insignificant clutter. I was meditating on and repeating the verse he recommended: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17). Then, I was immediately interrupted by the noise above.
This is going to be an expensive lesson from God. There was a ruckus above my head, made by scampering feet, squeaks, and occasional banging. Something unwelcome is in my attic. I just got off the phone with my pest control people and apparently I don’t have “rodent” coverage on my already expensive annual policy. The price I was quoted used to be considered two house payments, and that was with the discount they are giving me because I’m already a good customer.
So . . . I’m typing this blog as I wait for the phone to ring. They think they can get someone out here today. I will hate to write that big check so soon after Christmas. But, as the pest man reminded me, I would hate it worse if whatever is in my attic chewed through a cable or wire. They do know how to make you feel better about the quantity of money they will be requiring.
Unfortunately, I am experiencing the very lesson that Craig was teaching in his First15 devotional. He wrote, “Your mind is the battleground on which the war for your emotions, purpose, effectiveness, and fullness of life is won or lost. It’s your mind that is attacked daily by the enemy. It’s your mind that the world is trying to influence for its own benefit. And it’s your mind that the Lord desires to renew daily in order for you to live in abundant relationship with him.”
The attic of my home is a lot like my mind. Most of the important, unseen stuff that makes this house run is located in the attic. The plumbing that brings water, the wires that carry electricity, and the heating and cooling system that keeps us comfortable are all located above. Right now, there is a threat in the attic that I need to get rid of. I realize that I won’t get rid of it unless I’m willing to pay the price. The same is true of the thoughts that invade my mind.
Satan’s first line of attack is usually upon our thoughts. That is why Paul wrote, “We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5). That verse taught me one of the most important lessons I have ever learned. When I place my thoughts, fears, ideas, and decisions at the feet of Christ and choose to allow him to be Lord of my mind, I am able to gain a biblical perspective. I want my thoughts to obey Christ instead of the other influences in this world.
Apparently the pest company will set traps, seal up the “entry points,” and protect my attic from the future risk of unwanted critters. If for some reason another one finds its way into my attic, they will guarantee their work and come out for free. (Well . . . if I add another $25 to my annual plan.) It will be expensive to catch whatever it is that is running around in my attic, but I’m willing to pay the price to get rid of it.
I hope I will be able to look Jesus in the face and tell him I was willing to pay a significant price spiritually as well. 2016 is looking like it will be a significant year in the life of this nation. I think it will be crucial that God’s people take captive our own thoughts and ideas and submit our choices, ideas, and attitudes to Jesus. I wonder what the world will look like next January if we do. I do know this: God wanted me to write this blog post today. It will be an expensive lesson, but I am willing to pay that price. There is nothing more important than spending time with God and learning to think, act, and emulate his perfect Son. The biggest hindrance to spirituality is that God doesn’t send us a bill, he asks us to make an offering.
Let’s offer the necessary time to God and allow him to be Lord of our thoughts. (Update: I just laughed out loud!!) Just as I typed that sentence, that critter ran across the ceiling above my head. I think Jesus just told me, “Yep . . . it will be worth the cost – for sure!”
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