February 20th, 2009



Lately I have been on an emotional roller coaster, and although being ‘up’ feels really good, feeling ‘down’ is terrible.  Once again, I have been spending way too much time staring at my belly button, and in that pose, my prognosis is always negative.  When I begin to analyze myself, I always come out the loser, primarily because I appropriate the world’s standards to my condition, rather than the standards of the Kingdom.  In this place, I can often be found beating myself up, speaking negative words over my life, and falling into the familiar trap of condemnation.  That leads to a deeper downward spiral, inviting the law of self-fulfilling prophesy to take hold.  Words have power – why do I too often forget that?


This morning I asked the Lord to reveal to me what I needed to know in order to get back on track and off the roller coaster.  As I curled up in my blanket, He gave me a vision of a maze, a picture of how my mind sometimes operates.  As I stared at the maze in my mind, something plowed right through the middle of it, opening up a straight path from one end to the other.  The Holy Spirit said this is what happened when I surrendered my life to Jesus and asked Him to be Lord of my life.  At that instant, my entire DNA was changed to match His, my mind was renewed, my life was restored, and I was set on the straight path of Kingdom thinking.  Suddenly I had the option of taking that clear path to stay in alignment with what God says about me.  All I would need to do is keep my eyes on Jesus, and know that I now have the mind of Christ. 


I noticed there were lots of openings to the right and left of the path, and one mental turn could find me back in the middle of the maze.  That move would invite confusion to set in again, and I would run into another wall at every turn.  Why I would be tempted to step back into the maze is a mystery to me; however, I could see that every time I took my eyes off Jesus, I would veer to the right or the left, finding myself back in the mess. 


Holy Spirit reminded me that the Word of God tells me to not be conformed to the ways of the world, but to be transformed by the renewing of my mind.  Transformation beats condemnation every day, but it does not come without a battle.  Who will I listen to, the Word or my mirror?  Will I believe God’s assessment of me or what I think the world is telling me?  My Bible talks about taking good care of the temple that is my body, but there is no ideal weight and height chart anywhere in scripture.  God talks about inner beauty, but He does not speak about a preferred arrangement of body parts.  He speaks about the beauty of the flowers, and anyone who has walked into a flower shop knows that flowers come in many sizes and shapes.  I have never rejected a rose because it was too fat.


A “foundational lie” is a false belief a person has incorporated into his world view as if it were a truth.  One foundational lie that has caused me much grief has to do with the perceived value of a person.  The lie says that a person possessing youth and outward beauty has more value than someone who has passed that stage in life (or might be still looking for it!).  Although I know the truth intellectually, that familiar lie seems to carry too much weight in my assessment of myself.  Since youth and beauty are moving targets, most of us are unable to hit the mark anyway.  That lie produces a world full of people who see themselves as failures, who spend untold amounts of money to alter their outward appearance. 


Oops, I find myself sitting here and asking, where am I going with this?  I got myself so wrapped up in explanations that I all but forgot about the problem and the solution.  What is the problem?  It seems to be that I do not measure up to my own expectations and I do not know what to do about it.  Every self-made plan comes unhinged, and every attempt to change myself reinforces the belief that I just might indeed be a failure after all.  The solution?  Get out of the maze and back onto the straight path of God’s Word, fix my eyes on Jesus, believe what God says about me, and walk it out.  It sounds so simple and it is; however, it is not always easy to get to the place of admitting that my own thoughts and feelings are flawed.  I must throw off my own perceptions of how I see myself, or how I think the world sees me, before I can put on the mind of Christ and come into agreement with what my Daddy God has to say.


Even though I routinely wander off the straight path, the Lord is always happy to lead me back to that sweet place of peace.  I wonder why I cannot simply stay there.  Yesterday I was reminded that whenever we are involved in the work of the Kingdom of God, when we minister to others, and whenever we tear down what the enemy has built up against us, we become targets for demonic assault.  Consequently, I should never be surprised to find myself under attack.  The question is:  why am I so easily distracted and why am I so quick to believe the lies of the enemy?  How do they line up with God’s word?  Does He call me fat, old, and ugly?  Most certainly not!  Did He not tell me that I was made in His image?  Do I think God is fat, old, and ugly?  Most certainly not!


I guess I have some more work to do.  In a way, that frustrates me.  However, at the end of the day, it is good to be alive and growing, and it is always sweet to be moving toward Truth.  Today, I think I will take the straight path through the maze in my mind.  I will look through the eyes of Love, at myself and others.  I will find joy in the new spring in my step.  I will come into agreement with what God says about me, and I will walk that out.  Would you join me?


Romans 12:2

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.  And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.


Romans 8:1

There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.


I Peter 3:3-4

Do not let your adornment be merely outward – arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel – rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.


Proverbs 31:30

Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.


I Corinthians 2:16b

… But we have the mind of Christ.


I Peter 1:13

Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.


I Corinthians 6:19

Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?