She campaigned long and hard for a presidential candidate many years ago. I don’t remember her name or even the candidate, but I remember reading that she wore herself to the point of exhaustion. As vote counting continued into the wee hours of the morning, she could no longer fight sleep. Upon awakening, she was told that the man she rallied tirelessly for had been defeated. When asked for her response by those who had witnessed her labor of love, she simply replied, “I’m going to ignore it.”
I think we can learn something from this woman. If she had continually dwelt on the loss, her thoughts may have gone like this, “Look at all of the time, money and energy you wasted. You will never get that time back. How does it feel to know you threw months of your life away?” Instead of bathing in the pool of loss and disappointment, she intentionally disregarded it--saving her mind and emotions from taking a beating.
The mind is not a blank canvas. It will think about something. So while we don’t know what thoughts she did have--remodeling her house, finding another goal to work toward or taking a much needed vacation. We do know that she refused to dwell on something over and over that caused her much disappointment. She refused to wallow. Isaiah 26:3 says, “Perfect, absolute peace surrounds those whose imaginations are consumed with you; they confidently trust in you.” TPT Surround in this verse means “to watch over” and imaginations refers to having a “steadfast mind”. The key to having a steadfast, sound, strong mind is to keep it consumed with God--thoughts of Him, thoughts of His Word, His ways, His worship. A sure way to watch your faith slip and your mind become weary is to let yourself be consumed with things that should be ignored. Let me explain.
We see this in the life of Kathryn Kuhlman. Years after her divorce, she was asked about it and simply replied that the divorced Kathryn Kuhlman was dead. I love that! And from what I’ve read, it silenced her critics. What was she doing? She was so busy focusing on God, the healing ministry and winning souls that she ignored that part of her past that she could not do anything about. Brilliant.
I am certainly not saying that if you have gone through something traumatic, you don’t need to process it. You may need to seek help to work through it or just have someone lend an ear. I have found that to be very beneficial myself.
But current events have left a lot of society shell shocked and weary. Mask wearing, loved ones dying, political unrest... And being consumed with news headlines, social media posts and joining group after group that just keeps stoking the fire of these distressing circumstances is a sure fire way to experience a waning of your faith. Isaiah 26:3 says that if we want a steadfast mind we MUST be consumed with God. In God’s presence you will see the true size of a problem and you will see His true size--taking the burden off of your measly shoulders. I see so many posts that say, “Keep praying! Don't stop! Pray saints! Keep pushing!” Well, tell a woman in labor to keep pushing month after month and she is going to throw a bedpan at your head!
Don’t hear what I am not saying. I am not saying that we turn a blind eye to the world’s problems. But what I am saying is that if we listen to Isaiah 26:3--which admonishes us to consume our minds with Him, then powerful peace will surround us and we will develop a confident trust in Almighty God. It’s in that spiritual state that the mind stays at rest, is strong, disciplined and controlled.
Okay, so how do we consume our minds with Him? Talk about God, make posts pointing to Jesus, spend time encouraging and exhorting rather than rehashing the latest news story. Here is the litmus test--do my communications point to God and bring relief to the spirit and soul, or do they just create more tension?
So let me just ask you some raw questions? In the midst of all the apparent turmoil of late--are you closer to God? Or has your relationship, time in the Word, or prayer time decreased? Did you used to reach for your Bible first thing in the morning and now you check the news instead? The moment you feel an ache or pain, do you take God’s medicine or check Dr. Google for the Covid-19 symptom list? Are you still going through your friends list on social media and unfriending those with opposing political views? Is that how you spend your day?
If you answered “yes” to even one of the questions above, can I suggest a re-focus? And in addition to focusing on the right thing, make a quality decision that some things...you just need to ignore.