Posted: October 04, 2013
Has there ever been a time in your life when your mind was full of negative thoughts and emotional feelings that were so intense, it developed into something more than you could physically bear? You became encompassed by severe emotional heaviness and it was almost as if in that moment, there was no escape from the current reality of your circumstances. You potentially felt the sensation of drowning internally without knowing how to explain or change the situation. Often, it is in this place where you logically know many of the right answers, yet the pain and emotional turmoil continues to press against you at every moment.
It could be one specific issue, or a combination of challenges that twist your emotions to a place of confusion, leaving you disheartened and unable to navigate your way free.
Could it be you’re depressed? Or just focusing on the wrong thing? Perhaps the thought of what people think of you creates a weight on the inside of you and causes your emotions to carry you into a place of mental anguish and turmoil in your heart. It may be a fear of rejection, of experiencing a loss in some way, an injustice against you, or of someone else that you have no control over and leaves you angry.
If any of this sounds familiar to you, or perfectly describes a struggle you are facing - I have great news for you! Before brushing off this statement and moving on to something else, I ask you to please consider what I am about to say… The inner things and emotional turmoil that you struggle with is not reality. That's right! It is not reality!
I know I may have lost someone with that statement, but please consider this! Emotions themselves are absolutely real; however, what must be understood about them is that they are a reaction to something and are meant to be managed by us. It is not the other way around. Emotions are a perception driven by thoughts, which cause a physical and chemical reaction inside your mind and body. Every positive or negative emotion is the result of what we have intentionally or unintentionally trained our mind and heart to believe about how we perceive events around us.
What you feel is based on your perception of an event or ongoing situation. Another way of putting it is your perception is your reality!
The way you perceive different things can entirely change your outlook on certain people, situations or circumstances. That is why It is our job to train our heart to perceive the truth of God in every emotional situation. This of course, is much easier said than done; but did you know, that it is absolutely possible for you to live an emotionally liberated life? You can! God has provided us with a way to get out from under our damaging emotions and mindsets that hold us down or that tie us to things of the world. It is called the renewing of our mind! The Word of God says in Romans 12:2, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” We do this by cleansing our minds with the washing of the Word! We get our mind and heart in line with the Word of God until our emotions surrender and line-up with what the Word says, instead of what we feel. I like to say it this way – you need to train your heart!
In Romans 10:10 the Word says, “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness…” Notice here that it says with the heart a man believeth; the heart is the means by which we believe. In the Greek, the understanding for this word ‘heart’ is the word kardía, which in this context means the seat and center of human life. Kardía is also understood as the seat of the desires, feelings, affections, passions, impulses and thoughts. An example of this is seen in Matthew 5:8 where we read, “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.” The “pure in heart,” we see here means those whose center of life has been made pure by Jesus.
You may be asking, how is your heart made pure by Jesus? Well, I’m glad you asked! It comes by training it! You train your heart by faith, single-mindedness, obeying the truth through the spirit and the hope that we will one day be completely like Him when we see Him.
The following are several other examples found in scripture:
“And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us; and put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.” Acts 15:8-9 (KJV)
“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” James 4:8 (NKJV)
“Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently.” 1 Peter 1:22 (KJV)
“Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.” 1 John 3:2-3 (KJV)
Taking this understanding and applying it while looking at II Corinthians 10:5, “Casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,” we see that it is a very vital task for the Christian to govern the thoughts and intentions of their heart by the Word of God and not allow the natural, fallen nature of the world to overpower their thoughts. Taking every thought into captivity is training your heart in its most simple definition.
Hebrews 5:14 states, “But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” (KJV)
In the original language, to have "their senses exercised" means to have your perception under control by the faculty of the mind for perceiving, understanding, and judging. This is accomplished by the reason of use, or, in other words, the continual exercising of your perception to be able to discern both good and evil. The only way you have a standard in place with your perception is to conform your mind to the word of God!
To say it plainly would be to say, "Those who train their perception to be in-line with God’s Word, discern both good and evil."
When you train your mind it forces your perception to be in-line with God’s Word. Through submitting yourself to the renewing of your mind through the washing of His Word, you can alter your perception of the natural view of events and situations to see things God’s way!
We train our heart so that when certain circumstances arise that would otherwise drown out the Word of God in our life, we instead have the strength and fortitude to stand up and not be overtaken by our emotions. Our culture teaches us that certain things are too difficult to overcome and it's only natural when things are too much to allow our emotions to run wild. This results in complaining, depression, anger, pride, low self-esteem and numerous other emotional struggles. The truth is we have been given the ability to overcome these! It's true, things in life are tough, but praise God, He’s given you the ability to overcome!
Remember, we always have a choice to be conformed to God’s Word or not, and that choice begins right now. If you begin investing in your future by renewing your mind to the Word when trials and difficulties arise, you will not only be ready for them… you will defeat them!
For the Glory of Jesus,