Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Classic Christianity

I've been thinking the past few days of what would be a good book to recommend to someone I know who is struggling with how to feel God's presence in his life in a real way. I've asked around, and several people recommended the book Classic Christianity by Bob George. Having never read it, I thought I'd check it out before I recommended it to someone else.

Let me tell you, I am only about 65 pages into it, but I highly recommend it so far. It has been such a timely source of comfort for me.

Some of you know that I've been struggling with fear issues lately. Abstract fears like leaving my home and my family, stepping out of a secure income, and helping my kids adjust to life 1,000 miles away from the only home they've ever known. And more concrete fears like things that go bump in the dark.

As I was getting into bed last night, wrestling with these various fears, I picked up this book to read a little as I tried to fall asleep.

The chapter I was on is called "The Truth About Error." (an explanation of how if Truth sets us free (and we know it does because God said so),then the opposite must also be true: error binds us.)

The part that spoke to me was this: "our emotions always follow our thoughts." the author describes the experience of watching a frightening movie in a theater while eating popcorn, sitting next to people we know, and being fully aware of the film projector, yet nevertheless being scared out of our wits. It makes no sense, he says, to know that it is just a movie yet feel terrified all the same.

That's because "our emotions can't distinguish between fact and fantasy;" they can only respond to the messages being sent through the mind. "Whatever a man puts into his mind and thinks about determine what he will feel."

To the best of my recollection, the Bible does not tell us a lot about how to feel. God tells us what is true and right, what to think and believe, but not how to feel. I agree wholeheartedly with George's explanation of our feelings:

Man is free to put whatever he wants into his mind. His emotions will respond accordingly. If I am afraid, it is because I am thinking fearful thoughts. If I am angry, it's because I am thinking angry thoughts. If I am jealous, it's because I am thinking jealous thoughts.

Therefore, it is absolutely critical that we think thoughts that are truth rather than thoughts that are error.

With that in mind, I chose to go to sleep reciting scripture in my head last night. The prior few nights, I had kept the television on at a low volume and slept fitfully. Last night, I asked God to help me "take every thought captive," and I am happy and thankful to report that my emotions followed suit, and I found true rest.

"Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things." Philippians 4:8

1 comment:

CM and JM said...

That's great, it's the same message from Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Myers!! I love it!!!