The Christian life is promised to be full of struggles. It’s God’s plan for how we are tested and sanctified to reach perfection in Jesus Christ. If you as a Christian don’t think that you are struggling with the internal battle of sin, you are deceiving yourself. If life is just rosy, then you probably need to be more worried that you might not be showing up for duty as the Christian soldier you are called to be.
You need to wake up every morning knowing that your flesh has a sinful plan for you and that your God has a fruitful plan for you. You need to ask yourself which ship you want to set sail on today. If you leave it to chance, you might be in for a wild nasty ride. You need to ask the Holy Spirit to guide your feet onto the correct gangplank and keep you steadfastly moving forward for your good and for the glory of God.
Inner Peace & Exhilarating Joy
You have to participate in this process employing prayer with your conscious mind (intellect). You need to be in constant conversation with God about your next move. You need to be reading His words for you in Scripture so that when you seek His guidance, the right choices start to become apparent. That’s the Holy Spirit reminding you of what is real and profitable for you. There becomes this inner confidence that you just can’t explain. The storms are likely to continue to rage even more outside of you (in your life); but you can have “a peace that surpasses all understanding.” It’s only then that God can take it one step further and give you exhilarating joy; even when you are facing hell-on-earth situations.
Don’t Be Left Out
If you want this fantastic gift of peace and joy you have to recognize the blinders that are keeping you from embracing your God-promised-struggles. Blinders like self-help techniques, mantras, pharmaceuticals that numb you, and unbiblical methods of handling conflict. One such seemingly innocent practice facing Christians today is Mindfulness.
“Mindfulness” is the prevalent practice of emptying the mind to calm oneself. It teaches focusing on the organic thoughts and emotions that rise up from our natural flesh. It tells us not to “judge” these thoughts as good or bad but to “create space” for them to live free in our heads. Even the Mayo Clinic urges, “accept yourself.” Isn’t that nice?
Punch It, Don’t Pet It
All I can say about this drivel is that the devil is way more productive in an un-cluttered house; especially when the Lord has been swept out. The Lord tells us…
- to take every thought captive
- to discipline our bodies (minds) to make it our slave
- that we are wretched, in need of being delivered from eternal death.
Putting on the full armor of God begins in the mind and our consciousness must maintain a firm grasp of this and all of God’s promises to fight the good and worthy fight. There is no shore leave for the Christian mind, not even in yoga class.
“Peter says it like this: “Therefore, since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered [denied what you want] in the flesh has ceased from sin …” 1 Peter 4:1. Therefore we must suffer in the flesh if we are to cease from sin. There will be sufferings in the flesh if we by the Spirit are to put to death what rises up from the flesh so that the lusts are not allowed to rule. Sin rules, and we suffer in our conscience if we do not suffer in the flesh.”Sigurd Bratlie
The point is, an empty mind is a fertile ground for lusts of the flesh to grow! In trying to free the mind under the guise of dealing with stress, the practice of mindfulness isn’t just an impotent weapon, it is a dangerous practice for the believer. Psychology Today says, “Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention on the present.” NEWS FLASH – – Satan is the ruler and prince of this present age and this earth for now. Do you really want to tarry there, defenseless without God? Do you think He will honor your choice or let you feel the consequences for yourself?
Final Thoughts on the Vacuum
The notion that mindfulness is right for us is false. The only way that we can defeat this lie is with the truth of God’s word. Even the word ‘mind-full-ness” is a contradiction. We are supposed to intentionally fill our minds with (and meditate on) what is good and worthy. To do that we have to use discernment to decide what that is – – or who that is.
We all worship something; it’s just part of human excitement and motivation. However, if you push God out, even for a moment, you will be silently declaring that something else is your object of worship.
12For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
 Philippians 4:7
 How to Live in the Present Moment, Positive Psychology Program
 2 Corinthians 10:3-5
 1 Corinthians 9:24-27
 Romans 7:24-25
 Ephesians 6:10-20
 1 Timothy 6:11-12
 What is Mindfulness? A Psychologist Explains, Positive Psychology Program
 Galatians 1:4; 1 Corinthians 2:6-8; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Ephesians 2:2; Titus 2:12
 Philippians 4:8