Inch by Inch – Chapter 4

Battlefield of the Mind – Chapter 4
by Joyce Meyer

When you are running a marathon, moving an inch can seem unimportant, like you are getting nowhere.  And when you look ahead to the finish line, with all of those inches ahead of you, you may feel defeated, like you will never reach the end.  But it is taking one step at a time, continuing inch by inch, that you will reach the finish line.

Let’s relate this to renewing our minds; casting out negative thoughts and making room for positive thinking, God thinking.  If we allow, God will renew our minds little by little.  He will not do this all at once.  If we reach our victory too quickly, we will be consumed with pride. ( See Deuteronomy 7:22)  If we are released slowly, one area at a time, we can appreciate our victories even more.  We can realize that God is working in us.  We will recognize the gift He is giving to us and that what we are experiencing is not possible on our own.  It is only possible with God.

Renewing your mind is hard work and it takes perseverance.  Throughout this process, we will stumble.  We will have bad days and rough patches along our journey.  We must remember to refrain from condemning ourselves.  Condemnation sets us up for negative thinking.  This is exactly what the devil wants.  He wants us to stumble, condemn ourselves, and get stuck in negativity.  He wants to halt the process of renewing our minds.  He does not want us to get back up and start again.  He does this through discouragement and condemnation.   It is so important to get up, dust off, and take another step.

Discouragement destroys hope.  Without hope, we give up, which is exactly what the devil wants.  The Bible repeatedly tells us not to be discouraged.  If we are discouraged, we will not find our victory.

So, what do we do when discouragement and condemnation enter our minds?  We need to examine our thoughts.  Are our thoughts negative?  Here are some examples of negative, discouraging thoughts…

I can’t do this.
This is too hard.
Nothing ever changes for me.
I’m tired of trying.
I don’t think I can make it.
I pray but I don’t think God listens to me.

Remember, you become what you think.  (See Proverbs 23:7)  If you are thinking these thoughts, you need to change your thinking in order to be set free.  Here are a few examples of ways to rephrase the above…

Things are a bit slow, but I am grateful that I am making progress.
This is a new day. You love me Lord and your mercy is new everyday.
I’m glad I am on the right path that will lead me to freedom.
Father forgive me for my negative thoughts and help to to keep on going.

Sometimes God takes His time in bringing us deliverance.  He uses the difficult period of waiting to stretch our faith and let patience work in us.  God’s timing is perfect.  We need to trust and have faith in His timing.

Challenge –
Use God’s Word to help overcome self-condemnation and discouragement.  Write it, pray it, and speak it aloud.  Let God begin to help you take baby steps, inch by inch, toward renewing your mind.

1 Peter 5:10
And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, Who has called you to His eternal glory in Christ Jesus, will Himself complete and make you what you ought to be, establish and ground you securely, and strengthen, and settle you.

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