Being immersed.

Take control of what I say, O Lord, and guard my lips. Don’t let me drift toward evil or take part in acts of wickedness. (Psalm 141:3-4)

Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. So, letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. (Romans 8:5-6)

That phrase ‘letting your sinful nature control your mind’ sounds so terribly sinister it’s easy to overlook as something I would never allow to happen. But it’s not as though I face an ambush or hostile takeover of my mental capacities. It’s a thousand tiny moments of me turning ever-so-slightly away from the direction of the Spirit. This is the ‘drift toward evil’. Before I know it, I’ve slipped down an unfortunately familiar slope of thought patterns that DO lead to death. Death of peace… joy… healthy relationships… all the good fruits.  For me, this slope has a lot to do with selfishness… bitterness… indignation over ‘injustices’ thrust upon me, which are really nothing at all.

I’ve been using this book as many days as I can to guide me in reading and praying. Today, it led me to the verses above, but only after opening with this prayer:

‘O God, whose grace and mercy flow like an endless river from your great being, help me now to place myself in the path of your rushing love and limitless compassion, that I may find my spirit renewed.’

Despite all I hear about dreaming and leading… setting goals and going after them… how to be a better leader/wife/parent… sometimes it’s all I can do to ‘place myself in the path of your rushing love’… to clumsily point my mind in the general direction of the Spirit in hopes of being snagged on truth. Sometimes it’s all I can do to ask for God’s help to keep me from drifting toward evil.

And you know what? Truth always catches me, and God always helps.

(edit: I noticed my friend Fred wrote about this today from a slightly different angle. Check it out.)

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