It has been a couple months since our last trip to Guatemala and I’ve been thinking a lot about the importance of renewing one’s mind. Today, I want to challenge you to make daily, hourly, minute by minute choices to focus your mind on things above.
It is too easy to be distracted in our plugged-in world, with ever-streaming information and entertainment that is constantly being downloaded into our hearts and minds. TV shows, advertisements, movies, computers, tablets, and smart phones have made it easy for us to miss out on experiencing life with Christ. We are so distracted by the mindless entertainment they bring us. A beautiful thing about a missions trip, and specifically going to Guatemala, is that it is void of the every-day life distractions. You are pushed to experience, live, and focus on each moment. You are in a foreign environment that removes you from your material things, home-life, and every-day comforts. Not only do you experience life, but you live it moment by moment.
I want to challenge you to maintain the experience you had while on your last missions trip. Instead of diluting life with to-do lists or distracting yourself with your computer, choose to focus on “whatever is pure, right, and noble?” (Phil 4:8) Seek to experience God the same way you did when you were in Guatemala. Open wide your arms and heart to His Word, starting with your thoughts. In Romans 12:2 it says, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what Gods will is-His good, pleasing and perfect will.”
As JesuslovingBiblebelievingChristfollowing Christians, if we make the choice to shut off our phones, turn off our computers, music, and any other form of distraction and spend time with God, I know you will be encouraged. And don’t forget that it matters what kind of movies, music, or surfing we are doing. It is up to us to fill our hearts and minds with the right kinds of messages.
How often do you find yourself completely alone listening in silence? Meditating? Praying? Instead of surfing on Facebook, open up the Bible and read a bit. Instead of listening to music, listen to a sermon. Maybe your problem is BEING too busy. . ? As humans we are constantly looking for ways to distract or entertain ourselves. Stop diluting your life with things that do not matter and start making what matters a priority.
Philippians 2:5-7 says,
5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.
We need to live radically. Perhaps it means shutting off the music in your car or limiting time on the computer. Whatever it means for you, think about how you can find more times to listen and pray in your life.
Changing your thought process comes with many benefits. You become more like Christ which means you become more of a servant. Philipians 2:5-7 says it well, “ 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.” No longer are we too distracted to notice. Instead of coming home from Guatemala and saying, “What a wonderful mission trip that was. It felt so good to serve others, to feel close to God, etc.,” lets instead take the challenge and serve here. Lets make this our missions field. As Ann Voskamp says, ”People are starved for Christ everywhere; there are poor too down our streets and down our halls and downs our pews. Radical begins finding them and radically loving them.”
Just like we did in Guatemala; can we fight the battle here at home as well? Make a daily commitment to renew your mind and make a daily commitment to listen. You never know what you might hear or learn when you give God a chance to speak to a listening ear.