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Open or close the door? (a Timeless Truths blog post)

door

Have you ever heard the words, “Close that door, you weren’t brought up in a barn you know!” If so, most likely it was from a parent wanting to keep the heat in during the dead of winter to save on heating costs. (Actually, that is a good practice … after all, who wants to pay more than necessary for fuel to heat their home?) In the summer, when someone is in a room that’s stuffy, the words you’re more likely to hear are, “Open that door and let the fresh air in!” So, depending upon the circumstances, sometimes it’s good for the door to be open and sometimes it’s good for it to be closed. Spiritually speaking, when God offers us an “open door” that we need to make a decision as to whether or not to “walk” through it, we have the option of either exercising faith or entertaining doubt. If we truly feel like we are being led by the Holy Spirit to go forward into the plans God has for us, hopefully we will choose to keep the door open rather than close it through unbelief. The choice is ours … are we going to open or close the door of our faith? We may feel nervous … we may feel scared … we may even feel fear trying to grip at us when we’re in the process of making a decision of what to do next in the choices we need to make in our lives (even when we believe we’re doing the right thing by going forward through an open door the Lord provides for us). Feelings, however, cannot be trusted. They change depending upon what we are thinking about the most. If we are entertaining doubt, for example, we will be feeling that doubt and we will be feeling that nervousness more so than if we are exercising faith and trust and hope (which would lead to us feeling more confident, more optimistic, and more positive about the situation or circumstance). 2 Timothy 1:7 (ICB) tell us, “God did not give us a spirit that makes us afraid. He gave us a spirit of power and love and self-control.” So, the timeless truth for today is this: In order for us to walk in victory over fear, we need to truly believe that fear is not from God, but, rather, from the enemy (Satan). Therefore, we should choose to confidently walk through the open doors God has for us as He leads and guides us in our journey of life … trusting that He will be with us every step of the way. To build up our faith even more we can keep in mind the words of Joshua 1:9 (ICB) that says, “Remember that I commanded you to be strong and brave. So don’t be afraid. The Lord your God will be with you everywhere you go.”

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Thoughts (a Timeless Truths blog post)

Do your thoughts tend to run away from you? Do you find yourself thinking about one thing, then another thing comes to mind, then another, then another, then another … and before you know it you’re stressed out and overwhelmed trying to think of everything all at once? Well, the mind is like that … it wants to have a “mind of it’s own” and dictate what you do or do not think about. Fortunately, as children of God, we have power over our minds, over our thoughts … we don’t have to allow them to control us, but, rather, we can “take authority” and “take charge” and actually choose what we are thinking about (or not thinking about). It’s a little known fact … we do have that power. When Jesus died and then rose again, He gave us that power … power over sin, power over negative thinking, power over worry, power over anything that would try to control us. Is it easy? Of course not! But it is possible! Remember, with God all things are possible … including getting a handle on our thoughts. After all, our thoughts determine our actions. Most often, we first think about something before we actually do it. If we’re careful, we will pay attention and choose those things that are beneficial to both us and others. Want more proof that we can actually choose “right” thinking? Philippians 4:8 (NIV) says, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Now, if scripture instructs us to do something, we can trust that God will enable us to do it. He won’t ever ask us to do something that He wouldn’t also give us the ability – the power – to do. 2 Peter 1:3 (ICB) tells us, “Jesus has the power of God. His power has given us everything we need to live and to serve God. We have these things because we know him …” So, the timeless truth for today is that we have the ability – the power – to choose our thoughts. With that knowledge, we can make choices that will help, rather than hinder, our walk with the Lord as well as our relationships with people, and, last but not least, our relationship with ourselves (the things we tell ourselves in our own minds that no one else is aware of). As we do this, we will notice our lives improving. After all, as we focus on things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy (all positive things, by the way), we will be focusing our thoughts on things that will build ourselves (and others) up, we will be combating all the negativity in the world, and, most importantly, we will be coming into agreement with what God has to say in his Word … a sure-fire way to be blessed, not stressed!

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