Thoughts In A Cage

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~2 Corinthians 10:5~
“casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing ever thought into captivity to the obedience of God.”

Do I have discipline in my thought life? Do I take every thought and remember that God can hear all of them? What’s in our hearts goes to our head and whatever is in our head has a tendency to come out of our mouth. I have to, probably about every ten seconds check what I am thinking. I have to ask myself that if Christ was right there and I said those thoughts out loud would they be glorifying to Him. Sometimes yes, and a lot of the time no. My thought life can be very disturbing, the things I think toward others, the things I think about myself, and the things I imagine. They are not glorifying to Him, and being here has taught me to take every thought captive, not just the ones that I want to but EVERY thought. Taking those thought, giving them to Christ, and asking Him to never let them come up again. To hold them in a cage and keep them there. My thought life is huge lesson in discipline for me. Only through Him am I able to think pure and glorifying thoughts towards others and myself.

Discipline in the Flesh

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~2 Samuel 11:11-13~
“And Uriah said to David, “The ark, and Israel and Judah are dwelling in tents, and my lord Joab and the servants oh my lord are encamped in the open fields. Shall I then go to my house to eat and drink and lie with my wife?” As you live, and as your souls live, I will not do this thing. (12) Then David said to Uriah, “Wait here today also, and tomorrow I will let you depart” So Uriah remained in Jerusalem that day and the next. (13) Now when David called him, he ate and drank before him; and he made him drunk . And at evening he went out to lie on his bed with the servants of his lord, but he did not go down to his house.”

Lord, please show me what you would have me get out of these verses. Please give me wisdom and understanding to dig deeper into Your Word.

If you don’t know the story of David, Bathsheba, and Uriah. You can go read 2 Samuel Chapter 11 and you will then know the entire story but for a little background David was in a dark place in his life, he in return slept with Uriah’s wife Bathsheba, got her pregnant and tried to cover it up many, many times. In these verses we are in the midst of David trying to cover his sin.
Our theme for week 11 is Discipline. I had to ask myself what these verses had to do with discipline.
David like I said was in a very dark areas his life. For me, I have been in that area. The feeling of being surrounded by sin and feeling as if the weight of the world is on my shoulders. Having this feeling really put me in a mindset that I felt as if God would never accept me back and that there was no turning away from this. I had done one to many things for Him to ever love me. Looking back I know that that was all Satan. I wouldn’t want to go through it again but I am happy it happened. I look at it and see that discipline played a huge role in this dark area of my life. If it wasn’t for the way my parents raised me I probably would have gone through a lot more terrible and horrible things. They raised me with rules for a reason. The discipline being that even though my flesh wanted one thing, I knew what was right and wrong. When in the flesh it is incredibly hard to abstain from the things of this world but if you have some sort of discipline it will help you stay away from alcohol, drugs, sex, or whatever it is that leads you astray.
Switching views now.
Living a life right now, and in an area that I am not necessarily bombarded with all that stuff makes it really easy to say to just stay away form it. I look at Uriah and admire how much he respected the battle and knew that it was wrong for him to be at home. He, even being drunk still didn’t go home because he knew that it was wrong, that there was more men out on the field that would love to be home, with their wives. I don’t doubt that Uriah probably would have loved to see his wife but he knew that it was wrong. When I go home and probably as soon as I step off the plain I will be faced with my old self and the sin that lead me astray but if I stay rooted in His word and strive to be like him more and more everyday, it will not be easy but in his strength I will be able to withstand those sins that put me in a dark place.

His Instructions

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~Psalms 119:9-11~
“How can a young man cleanse his ways? By taking heed according to Your word. (10) With my whole heart I have sought You; Oh, let me not wandering form Your commandments! (11) Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You.”

How do I turn away from my evil ways? By drawing closer to Him and taking heed to His Word. How do I take heed to His word? By taking my focus off myself and taking all of my focus and putting it on Him. There is no better way, when you are trying to turn away from your evil ways than to turn to the Creator and let Him cleanse you. Seek the Lord with your whole heart and when you are wandering from His commandments turn back to Him and ask Him to forgive you. God has given the instruction here on how to turn away from our sin and what to do when we do. The more we take heed to His word, and hide His word in our hearts the easier it will be for us to stay on the path of righteousness and not sin against Him. Take His word and hide it in your heart meditating on it daily and when the sin comes and the trials and tribulations come you will have a solid foundation in Him. Have discipline daily by spending time with Him and He will guide you in the right direction.

Temporary or Eternal

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~1 Corinthians 9:24-27~
“Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. (25) And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate for all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. (26) Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. (27) But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.”

After reading this I have to really ask my self am I running this race for a temporary prize or for an internal crown? I did gymnastics up until the age of 14. This taught me discipline in finding a goal to strive for. A goal that challenges me to want to be better but also an attainable one. I have to ask myself do I make it appoint to strive for the right thing in this life? Are my priorities straight? To answer these questions truthfully at points I do find myself striving for my own personal gain but then the Lord humbles me and I take a step back and remember that there is a bigger purpose to everything that I go through, and do in this life. The things that I do on this earth can either last for eternity or they can perish it all depends on what my motive is, if its for self then they will perish, if its for the benefit of The Kingdom then it will last for eternity. I sit here and have flash backs of my life and the many times I have been selfish and just haven’t given a care in the world wether my actions will be for Christ or for myself. It makes me really look at what I am doing now. I am in a place filled with Him and people that are filled with Him, but what about when I go home? Am I going to step out of my comfort zone and obey God if He tells me to do something or am I going to go bak to being selfish and be a person who doesn’t care. I know it is going to be hard to go back to reality but only in Gods strength will I be able to stand against this dark and wicked world.

Daily Discipline

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~1 Timothy 4:8~
“For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promises of the life that now is and of that which is to come.”

What does the word exercise mean? It means to train for or to work towards something. When we excise we are usually doing it for a reason, that reason being for our own benefit. We gain from exercise. So why not exercise godliness. Why not have discipline in spending time in the Word and letting it show in our everyday lives. This just brings me back to how actions speak louder than word. The things we say and the things we do have a huge impact on whether we show the work that Christ is doing in our lives. I just had a conversation this morning(March 20th,2016) with some of the other inter girls here. We were expressing to each other how when we go home we are nervous to see if people are going to see a difference in us or are they just going to see the same person that left. Will we be a new creation in their eyes? If we are not then we probably didn’t let the Lord work in our hearts and transform us into His image. I know that the Lord has changed me for the better and that is because I see Him working in my heart and in my life that if I was not willing to let Him then there is no way that it would be happening. The one thing that has benefited me the most is being disciplined in my devotional time. Without that time spent everyday digging into His word then I probably wouldn’t see the work He is doing in me. I am excessing His word in my life and actions. It may be easier for me because I am surrounded by people that love Him and in a place where it’s really hard to not be sending time with the Lord. I know that when I get home it will be more difficult but I continue to ask God to strengthen me for that time.

Philippians 3:10

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~Philippians 3:10~
(8) “Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ. (9) and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith. (10) that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death.”

When we suffer we get a little glimpse into what He went through. Christ suffered just like you and I. Though He was beaten, bruised, spit on, and laugh at for our sake. There is no possible way for us to repay Him for what He has done than to thank Him and live our lives for Him. His suffering in return saved us. We, through His suffering, can now be one with and through Him with other believers. We should see the value in the persecution or suffering that naturally accompanies one who is in fellowship with Christ and His suffering.
1 Peter 2: 21-24 “For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: ‘Who committed no sin, Nor was deceit found in His mouth,’ who, when He was reviled, did not in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously; who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness— by whose stripes you were healed.”

Philippians 3:9

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~Philippians 3:9~
(8) “Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ.”
(9)“and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith.”

Whatever I gave up to follow Christ was completely worth it. For years I had found my identity in sports and for years I was okay with that because it was my own selfish desires and wants that were taking me away from Christ and His plan for me. Now my identity is found in Christ because I took off my old self which consisted of sin, hatred, bitterness, and selfishness and put on Him which consists of love, patience, kindness, and joy. My righteousness through faith in Him, the righteousness that is only found through faith in Him is far greater than any other righteousness I could attain.