2020-08-05 - The Sharpening
I am always looking for ways to sharpen my mind. Some years ago, it was Words with Friends © online, and while I still play that along with one called song pop, I recently discovered triviagenius.com through an email I began receiving from them. They have multiple choice quizzes on assorted topics ranging from pop culture and real estate to baseball, geography, and biographical information. I found myself going from one to the other, and suddenly thirty to forty minutes went by before I knew it. Besides the challenge in the love of learning, I also found it a good distraction from feeling a bit out of sorts today. My wandering also reminded me of how much I love to do so in God‘s word. So often, I start with one thought in mind and then next thing I know, I have made notes, marked verses, and written up thoughts that will likely be used in some writing later - and certainly have given me more clarity on any questions lingering in my mind before I began to meander.
That restlessness of the heart does not begin with the Father, but the adversary. Sure, it is part of being human, but where we take it can make it shift from restless to wicked, if we fail to engage with the source of renewal over the long haul. Personally, the longer I neglect spiritual renewal, the worse I feel. And with so many other things in life being possible contributors to malaise, I prefer to nip it in the bud as soon as I can. In Psalm forty-two, we read the question, “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you disquieted within me?” And that is followed by an immediate response, as though part of an internal retort to remind oneself, “Hope in God; for I shall praise him, my help and my God.” (Psalm 42:5 New Oxford annotated Bible with Apocrypha) This thought is so powerful, and the entire chapter continues with more of why we need to build ourselves up in the Lord on a regular basis. For me, just being with Him is a source of constant rejuvenation, no matter what the world keeps throwing at me. And warfare of the mind will continue to happen, whether I prepare myself for it or not, so I must choose this path intentionally and daily-it will not just spontaneously occur, after choosing to call myself a child of God.
How is your soul feeling today? On top of the world or cast underneath the jacked-up jail-as we would joke about as kids while playing "cops and robbers" or even "hide and seek," when someone did not make it back to base. I wrote down that Psalm Forty-two verse on a post-it note and added it to the plethora of ones on the back of the front door in the living room. It is a visual reminder of things I need to tell my soul when it does not always “feel” like I know and believe it. Let’s face it-if we waited to do everything until we completely felt like it, very little would likely happen. And that is how the adversary meddles into our minds when given the opportunity. God is there to comfort us with those he sends, as well as just who He is to us: Abba Father. (2 Corinthians 7:6-7 & Galatians 4:6-7, ASV)) And God’s promise includes the fact he will reign over the wicked in the end - He keeps his promises, he loves justice, and will welcome us back to himself at the appropriate time. (Psalm 11). Until such time, I will keep meandering in His word and praying for guidance along the way, for sharpening my spirit as well as my mind on this journey.
All verses are from the King James Version (KJV) unless otherwise noted.