Sustenance is defined as something that supports life. What kind of life do you have?? Is your life supported?? Is it one that is willing to take the Band-Aid off and allow the healing to begin?? Or, is it one where you have been punished and enslaved by the lies the enemy leaks into your mind? Is your mind guarded or is it vulnerable?? Part of ripping off that Band-Aid involves honesty with yourself and with Father. Tell Him what you are really feeling deep inside. Reach out to Him. Call on that friend or friends we identified last week. Back in college at FSU, I had a friend named Amy. Once, I came to Amy grumbling and complaining about my life. Amy took a bold move that day, instead of just listening to me and bemoaning with me; she gave me a piece of advice. She told me that I needed to go sit and write a “Thank You Note” to God for all He had been doing in my life. I remember feeling a twinge of anger towards her as I began to write. Then, the victories and blessings came flowing into my mind like a soothing balm. It was then that I realized what her goal was. She wanted to change my perspective and reorient my eyes onto the “Author and Perfecter of my Faith.”
“Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we'd better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we're in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he's there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!”
Hebrews 12: 1-3 (The Message)
There are times when you feel like you cannot see past the moment that is blaring in your face trying to capture your attention. Those are the times when we all need to look back at what Father has done in our lives and what Jesus endured during His time on Earth. Those wandering, uncontrollable thoughts need to be reined in and refocused. 2 Corinthians 10:5 tells us to take thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ.
Your best bet is to stop them before they enter your mind. Anabel Gillham tells a story of the day a vacuum salesman got into her house, and she could not get him out. She heard a voice and just yelled come in, and of course, in he marched. His demonstration began right away with a cup of dirt scattered across the floor. Once he had crossed the threshold of her home, it was hard to get him out. He continued to show off his vacuum and proclaim the incredible features and the benefits of owning this product. Boy oh boy doesn’t that sound like the same old song and dance that the enemy tries to sell us at those moments when we are tired, angry, and weak. Once the thoughts get past the threshold of our minds, it is harder for them to be kicked back out again and replaced with truth.
Charles Stanley, the pastor of First Baptist of Atlanta, shares an acronym called HALT to explain times when we need to stop and refocus our minds. These are times when that old song and dance tends to work on us more often.
H: hungry….not just for food but possibly for love and attention
A: angry… anger that is uncontrollable and all-consuming
L: loneliness….these are times when you miss companionship, inclusion into a group, or just want someone to share your life and struggles with on a daily basis
T: tired….when we do not get enough sleep…our minds are prone to wander
HALT and find a friend to help you during these times. Yell out to Father and seek His face…proclaim what is true in the face of temptation and fallacies.
Halt and read what God’s perspective is…
Don't you know anything? Haven't you been listening?
God doesn't come and go. God lasts.
He's Creator of all you can see or imagine.
He doesn't get tired out, doesn't pause to catch his breath.
And he knows everything, inside and out.
He energizes those who get tired,
gives fresh strength to dropouts.
For even young people tire and drop out,
young folk in their prime stumble and fall.
But those who wait upon God get fresh strength.
They spread their wings and soar like eagles,
They run and don't get tired,
they walk and don't lag behind.
Keep on pressing on and running the race…
Love your fellow runner…
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