Brag on God Friday
Bragging on God as the Mind Changer.
My friend Cherry wrote about Proverbs 4:23 not too long ago. "Above all else, guard your heart, for it affects everything you do." It really hit me that what we give our mind to gives way to our desires, the seat of our affections, which sets the course of our actions, our life. Clarifying the reality that, "taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ" (2 cor. 10:5) and "Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things" (Col. 3:2) is super important!
In Cambodia, when you see a white man sitting alone you can almost guarantee he is there for sex with young girls. When I would see them, I would feel angry, sick and scared. The trip was only 10 days, yet even now going on day 6 of being back when I see a white guy sitting by himself, my first response is anger and I feel sick to my stomach. I have to tell myself what's true. He's not guilty! I have to retrain my thinking to make it align with reality.
I also see thins happening with large groups. In Cambodia, the majority of large groups of young people (there was a lot of them) were youth groups or Christian schools on missions trips. When I would see them, I was so proud of them. So now when I see a large group of people, I am immediately fond of them, proud of them. Again, I have to retrain my thinking. They don't necessarily love Jesus and probably arnt on a missions trip.
This is a very real example to me how it only takes a few days for our minds to set the course of our life. When our minds think something, the seat of our affections, our desires, our heart follows which will affect the course of our life. Wow!
Even how I got to Cambodia is an example. Hearing stories and praying for the country and the little girls, God used that to move me to action. Perhaps that is why God told us to pray for Him to send laborers? As we are setting our mind on God's life changing message going to the world, we are moved to action as well.
This map hung at the kids eye level has become one of my favorite things in our house. Austin put a picture of me on Cambodia when I was gone which reminded them to pray for me. It's beautiful how God is giving our kids a heart for the world and desire to tell others about Him by having things like this up around the house.
What a big deal to guard our minds, right away, not giving an inch. What a big deal to "prepare your minds for action..." (1 pet. 1:13) To not just have a defensive, don't think about wrong things, but a offensive, tell ourselves what to think about, to prepare our minds for action.
If we don't, here is what our flesh is capable of if we don't guard our minds. The same greed and materialism are what plagues Cambodia. The following is from Don's blog (executive director of Agape International Missions)
"These men sit and smoke and drink and gamble all day…everyday.
How can they afford to do it? They traffic their daughters.
The reality is that very, very, very, few girls are trafficked because of poverty. The reality is that even in this 3rd world country most young girls are trafficked as a result of greed, materialism, and the lack of moral compass…evil. Education and development alone will do nothing to stop child sex trafficking. Cambodia’s recent history, one filled with millions of dollars spent on education and development, confirms this. Our history in the West, in developed countries, certainly bears this out—education and money do not eradicate evil.
Don’t get me wrong; financial resources, development, and education aren’t bad, but without Jesus they won’t put a dent into child sex trafficking. With Jesus, these things can transform a community. I believe this is happening right now through Agape International Missions’ ministries in Svay Pak, Cambodia. It’s a long ways from finished, but the process has begun, and to quote the apostle Paul, “he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
Here are inspiring stories of how it's happening.
Aligning our thinking with what God says is true is a big deal. Our thoughts set the course of our life. But the crazy thing is that we can't change our thinking apart from the Holy Spirit. We can do nothing of eternal worth without God's Spirit enabling us to. The self-sufficient part of me deeply desires to be able to fix myself. To make myself perfect, to have no need for the cross of Christ.
But then I remember the humble recieve. I need to admit I can not sanctify myself, I can't make my thinking more like Jesus. Only He can. All I can do is call out to Him and ask Him. In the very moment, "Oh Lord, help me believe what's true." In the middle of the fear, the sadness, the anger... "Oh Lord, what's true? Help me see it and believe it." And He does it! He does the miracle in our minds. He directs our thoughts, He gives us the very thoughts of Christ.
"And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit." 2 Cor. 3:18
When we fix our gaze on Him, we become what we're gazing at, but only through the work of the Holy Spirit. I'm inspired and bragging on God's ablilty to change our thinking, ablity to convince us what's true when we call out to Him, when we ask Him. I love that He knows us so intimately that He knows how to change our thinking. He knows the exact thing that will help us see differently and is Sovereign enough to bring it t pass at the exact right time. What an incredible Mind-Changing God we have!
What do you want to brag on God about this week? I would love for you to join us. Just add my button found under the Brag on God Friday's Tab or add a link in your post so others can get a glimpse of God's heart and character as we share.
I am always so encouraged by you guys. Thank you for sharing how you are seeing God reveal Himself in your life and around you. I seriously feel so honored to have such quick access to your stories. They inspire me to love and serve God more. Thank you!
And PS... Spend some time browsing the resources under the Life On Mission Tab. You might come across something helpful. If you find something you like, feel free to add the Life On Mission button to your site.
Hi Laura. I've linked up 3 of my articles today, thanks for the opportunity! It's always my prayer that your visitors will be blessed by these articles.
That verse in Proverbs is such an important verse -- the heart is the wellspring of life. And so often we go through lives unaware and not guarding our hearts. Your post was very powerful.
7/29/2011 05:18:01 pm
The things we think direct our lives...it is so important to think on those things pleasing to God. To Love Him with all our hearts, souls, MINDS, and strength. Thank you for sharing your insights.
7/30/2011 06:57:53 am
Laura - your stories about the sex trafficking are so disturbing. I work in education, and like your guest blog excerpt said - no matter the education you throw at it, evil is stronger apart from Jesus - seeing life - see education - through His eyes. Through His Word. What helplessness those poor little girls are born into! And that cycle continues year in and year out - generation to generation. I see it everyday in my own classroom. I shall cling to your prayer this school year: Lord, show me the truth of it! May my anger be eased with compassion and hope.
7/31/2011 11:42:01 am
Laura, You are doing good work here in educating readers on the atrocities happening in Cambodia. I, for one, am ashamed to admit that I had no idea that kind of sexual trafficking was happening there.
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