I’ve been having some issues since losing my big client in June. Just keeping my head above water is difficult.
That has lead me to a place where I just want to isolate. It’s fostered depression and anxiety.
I skip functions to stay home. I cancel appointments because stressing anxiety freaks me out.
My friend reminded me that morning that a lot of what we go through is all mental. After all we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (Eph 6:12)
Philippians 4:8 says “And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”
If we focus on these things then our mental battle will become much easier. I’m not saying it will be perfect but it will help us “bounce away” the thoughts not of God.
It was put to me like this…
Say you have a bucket and you fill that bucket with all the things from Philippinas 4:8 when a thought comes in that is not of God. The enemy whispering something to you like, "You’re not good enough”. “You can’t take care of your family” “Your pathetic” They would do better without you”
You can replace it right then with something out of that bucket. Something of God. Something true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable.
The problem is that my bucket is filled with lies, worry and anxiety.
I have to take my thoughts captive. 2 Corinthians 10:5 says We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
It’s something we have to be intentional about and honestly I get side tracked. I’ll go a couple days being down or stretched thin and I’ll remember my conversation with Mike and realize I’m not taking my thoughts captive.
Instead I am letting my thoughts dictate what kind of day I will have.
I'll course correct for an hour or two and go back into that fog of lies.
I can't stress this enough, it doesn't happen naturally you have to practice it everyday with every thought or you will just default back to worry.
When we were talking about this at breakfast I immediately thought of a metal bucket like you see on tv. I felt something tell me I need to go get a bucket.
I got in the truck with the intention of getting a bucket to bring with me and remind me everyday to fill it with the right things.
I had turned out of the restaurant headed to the hardware store when I remembered a Bob Goff book where he does something similar.
Bob was getting busy with speaking and ministry, he was feeling stretched thin and found himself growing more and more impatient with people.
He was filling his heart with this impatience and selfishness. When he realized what it was doing and being a pastor (which makes him inclined to use visual aids) he decided to go get a bucket and carry it around with him. This would remind him to fill the bucket with love each day.
Bob Goff is just a brilliant man and if you haven’t read his books you really should,
Anyway, I was almost to the hardware store and realized I was copying Bob Goff so I turned around and went home.
Over the last few weeks I just kept feeling like I need to get a bucket but the awkwardness of carrying a bucket around coupled with not wanting people to think I was just copying Bob Goff kept stopping me. Still I couldn’t shake the thought I was supposed to get a bucket.
I've been trying to listen to the Holy Spirit more over the last year. He as a person wasn't as big of a deal in the denomination I was raised. The church I was at when I really got a hold of Jesus downplayed Him to the point they took a spiritual gift test and edited out part of it that they weren't comfortable with before we offered it to our people. Then I read The God I Never knew by Robert Morris and talked with people that were living the dynamic sort of life I want.
Over the last 10 months or so I've been trying to really listen to the big and small things He has to say.
I just couldn't get rid of the idea of this bucket.
Finally yesterday it hit me, worrying about what others think is another thought I need to take captive. Especially if it keeps me from doing something I feel lead to do.
So here is my bucket. My bucket and I are going to go everywhere together for the next 2 weeks. Over those 2 weeks the bucket and I are going to focus on taking captive my thoughts and focusing on the spiritual disciplines of reading the Bible, meditating on the Word and prayer. As well as helping me remember to to live one day at a time and take advantage of the opportunities God places before me to help others, minister to others and not isolate.
There you have it, If you see me out and about with my bucket you will know why and if someone comes to you and asks if you’ve seen that peculiar guy in town carrying a bucket around you can fill them in for me. It’s going to be an interesting couple weeks.