7 For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. — 2 Timothy 1:7 (NIV)
This was the first verse I saw today.
The Bible is full of text that explains that we have power that we humans cannot even fathom. In Matthew 17:20, Jesus said that the power held inside faith “as small as a mustard seed” can move mountains. Nothing would be impossible.
That would be amazing, but I’m so far from wanting to move a mountain. I’m wanting to just make it through my day. If I find it so hard to do this comparatively simple task, what does this say about my faith? How do I tap into the “power” that will at least lift me through the day? Why do I feel small and insignificant when the Spirit of God could be filling me with love?
I wish I knew more about all the places in the Bible to which I could turn for uplifting quotes. Sometimes I feel great after reading it. Sometimes I just feel like I simply completed a task, something to check off my to-do list. I’m part of various studies and “Life Groups”, and I find myself battling the sensation of annoyance (perhaps jealousy) when I seem to only hear (or only remember because of my own self-absorption?) how easy it is for others to face life with complete faith that God is going to take care of everything. Resting their hearts in the peace of God seems to just happen for them. Rarely am I conscious of anyone talking about how they desperately want to feel God working in their life, but their own insecurities, fears, shame all seem to crowd Him out.
Maybe what my friends are able to do is more like a continual self-affirmation exercise. Saying it out loud helps make it true. Saying the opposite helps make that true. Maybe I need to become more accomplished at the concept of “Fake it until I make it.” Maybe my heart will follow my mind.
But then it’s my mind that seems to be the stumbling block. My initial response to life every morning is often to start my day instinctively ruminating on the pain of my past decisions and mistakes, as well as the fears of my future (particularly my eternal one). It is hard for me to hear truth when I allow all the lies to hold such a prominent place in the stage of my mind.
I have to learn to train my mind to contemplate on “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy.” Because if I think about these things, maybe it’s true that the “God of peace will be with [me].” (Philipians 4:8) If I can learn to make my mind do this, maybe my troubled heart will calm down, and I will truly feel His peace.
God, help me focus today. Help me focus to complete the things for which I am responsible, but help me do this with your truth as a protective coating for my mind. Help me focus on whatever is good and pure. Help me stand firm in my faith that you are there loving me in spite of all my mistakes, in spite of all my weaknesses. Fill me with your spirit so that I truly believe with all my conscious and sub-conscious that I am your child, and I am completely and utterly loved.