If you need to read or review read my initial thoughts about focus on these verses click HERE).
Remember… If you have mastered a particular area or do not need my suggestions, come up with your own! Then keep your Kingdom Kindreds posted by sharing your journey in the comments!
O.K. Kingdom Kindreds. Here we go!
1) The Mind… Guard Your Thoughts
- Photo credit: via oliviasellke.wordpress.com
So far we have been on the offensive with our focus on the minds. We’ve discussed the importance of scripture memory, taking thoughts captive, and having an outward focus. But I wouldn’t want to leave out the importance of the defensive position when it comes to our minds.
Proverbs 4:23 says, “Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.” (NASB). Many translations use the word “heart” to describe the principle of being on the alert for what you let inside. Yet other Bible translations discuss the concept of “heart” in terms of your mind or thought life,
“More than anything you guard, protect your mind, for life flows from it.” (CEB)
“Carefully guard your thoughts because they are the source of true life.” (CEV)
“Above all, be careful what you think because your thoughts control your life.” (ERV)
“Be careful what you think, because your thoughts run your life.” (NCV)
The heart is the center of our thoughts and feelings and our actions are born from the incubation of all of the seeds that we allow to be planted, cultivated, and grown in the recesses of our brains and our souls.
So we should be careful of what we allow to enter in!
Satan is on a hunt for you (1Peter 5:8). He is looking around in search of a weak point in your spiritual armor so that he can injure you and render you useless. He wants to steal your purpose, power, and possibilities.
Guard your mind so that you don’t allow things of this world to weigh you down, distract your attention, or make you numb to things of God. Watch what you watch, what you listen to, and who you yoke up with. Beware of the enemy’s slick ways to catch you with your guard down.
Are you willing to have God prick your heart in areas where you may need a bit of prodding? Check out this post on guarding your heart. You can also visit this post to be encouraged towards holiness in your heart and thought life. If you want to do more indepth Bible study on the topic, there are tons of resources from PreceptAustin.org where you can do further reading to help you think of how you should apply this principle to your life.
Kingdom Kindred… What things are you currently allowing into the control center of your existence (your brain, thoughts, heart) that are keeping you from being fully protected against the darts of the enemy?
We won’t all be instantaneously perfect tomorrow but we can make changes everyday. What is one change you can make to guard your heart and mind more effectively?
2) The Body… Fasting
- Photo credit: via peacefullystressed.com
So far we’ve talked about drinking more water, moving our bodies, and watching what we put in our mouths. How have you been doing with all of that? Have any you made any changes that were positive since starting the journey?
OK. Let’s talk about fasting. While fasting can be the act of abstaining from anything (social media, activities, people) most of the time we discuss fasting it is in the context of abstaining from all or some kinds of food or drink.
Why fast? Well there is a great article covering a ton of spiritual benefits on Campus Crusade for Christ’s website. There are even more awesome articles in that site if you need more info.
Fasting doesn’t just help your inner man, it benefits your outer man as well.
Dr. Joel Fuhrman says, “We know that the body is unable to rid itself of toxins when we eat a diet low in nutrients,” and that applies to most Americans, even those who think they are healthy. Americans eat 51% of their diet from processed foods and foods low in phytochemicals and antioxidants, so you see a buildup of waste products in the cells… that build up in cellular tissues and lead to atherosclerosis, aging, diabetes, nerve damage, and the deterioration of organs. Fasting allows the body to most effectively remove these waste products. (via WebMD)
Still need a good reason to fast? Well. Jesus did it! (Matthew 4:1-11)
The general principle is that you are giving up something in the physical realm to gain something in the spiritual realm. Now, I’m not going to tell you what to fast or for how long. What I will say is that if you can give up one thing for even a short period of time, and use that time to focus on things above… you will benefit.
So think of one thing that you can give up this week. You decide for how long. You could skip one meal and spend time talking to God instead. You can do more than that if you want. You can fast from social media for a day or two (or three) and use that time instead to read God’s Word. You choose. Just try it! I’ll be looking forward to hearing you share about your experience.
If all you can do it give up one meal, your spirit and your body will thank you.
Please consult your doctor before beginning any major changes in your regular routine for nutrition. Many people have conditions that might cause fasting (especially for multiple days) to have an adverse physical effect.
3) The Spirit… Cultivate Connection
- Photo credit: via anempoweredspirit.com
Everything thing we’ve discussed thus far about caring for our spirits have been self-focused (prayer, stillness, and rest). This week let’s talk about a way that we can cultivate our spirits that involves others.
Jesus had friends. His disciples were his “running buddies”. He spent a lot of time teaching them, yes. But he also spent time being ministered to by them as well. We know from reading in the New Testament that we shouldn’t neglect to get together (Hebrews 10:25). While that statement is interpreted to mean within the context of the local church, the principle here is that we need each other. We need the fellowship and accountability of others who are trying to walk the walk like we are.
You can read more abou the importance of friendship at Sanctifying Truth and Today’s Christian Woman.
“Two are better than one…” Ecclesiastes 4:9
Now I know that many of us barely have time for the essentials of life, much less the “extras” but I’m not saying that you have to throw a party every weekend.
Just plan to have one friend over once a month or meet another sister for coffee early in the morning before you both go to work. Maybe you can schedule a Skype or Facetime session if that’s all that will work right now. Meet a few girlfriends at a local park and letr your kids wear themselves out while you catch up! However you do it, make time to C-O-N-N-E-C-T!
Recap of the Three Things…
Guard Your Mind
What are you letting “in” that you should be shutting “out”?
Give Fasting a Try
What can you give in the physical to access more in the spiritual?
Connect with Friends
Make time for connection.
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