The Mind is a Battlefield

Seems life is full of people taking nosedives off of cliffs these days. Our pastor preached last week about how the Lord can redeem those who've taken just such a cliff dive, and it was a beautiful reminder of God's grace. But I also have a sweet friend who was so burdened all week by the desire to see less believers take that nose dive in the first place. Though the Lord is in the business of redemption, it comes at a cost. Broken relationships, families, lives, etc.

And yet the cliff diving continues. I find myself wondering what in the world some people are thinking, but the Lord has been quick to remind me that pride comes before taking a little dive of your own. I would be blind to think I'm not just as capable as anyone of taking that swan dive into the abyss. Our hearts are deceptive and the enemy is on the prowl. We cannot be too careful lest we find ourselves a pancake at the bottom of the valley.

So how do we keep far, far away from the cliff's edge?

Well, you can just live life like I watch football.


Okay, I've been a football fan for pretty much ever, living where I do. Most people I know have been raised on it and are either so sick of it they can't stand the thought of it or so in love with it that it determines their Saturday plans from August until November. And then, if you're a fan of the same team I am, you spend December thinking about bringing home another crystal ball in January.

Roll Tide.

While I'm not the kind of fan who can quote stats and give you a play by play of every game for the past 37 seasons, I have been known to let my emotions be affected by the outcome of a ball game.

I'm a little embarrassed to admit that, but there you go.

The funny thing is, I remember a football season about ten years ago when I had this chubby, giggly baby girl, wearing her Roll Tide apparel and hanging out in her noisy exersaucer by the tv. As I watched the game, I remember thinking, "Wow. I don't care about this nearly as much as I used to. I've been blessed with this sweet baby, and she's what really matters, not football. Even if my team doesn't win, I'll still get to be her mommy tomorrow."

Yes, thank you. What a deep moment.

But, as believers, do you remember having those moments of awareness and clarity in your spiritual life? In those moments, what's important and what's not seems so obvious. And you wonder why you ever cared about the unimportant stuff in the first place.

Then, the new wears off, and you find yourself sitting down to watch a football game and when things start to go a little south, you find your stomach in knots and your temper getting short. That same not-so-baby girl walks into the room, and you ignore what she's saying because, "Hello! The game is on!" And you feel grumpy and the day doesn't seem so fun anymore.

Hold on just a minute here! This one's not getting by me. I remember that this is just football and that this giant fifth grade girl standing next to me matters a whole lot more than this silly game that I won't even remember in a few days  weeks  months.

I find myself whispering those words of truth to myself: This is just football. It doesn't matter. Jesus matters. Eternity matters. Not this.

Before I know it, my mind is restored by the truth and the unimportant fades away. As long as I'm taking those thoughts captive, my mind can stay focused on what it should be focused on.

But one moment of weakness, one moment where I let the lie remain, one moment when I deliberately choose to focus on the temporary pleasures of this world, and a door is cracked to all kinds of dangerous things. Before I know it, I can find my toes on the edge of a cliff and my whole body willing to take a flying leap.

All it takes is one moment too long of my mind lingering on the game instead of the girl.

All it takes is one moment too long of my mind entertaining the desires of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the allure of this world, and I can become a cliff diver.

We are all so close. Don't ignore the warnings, believers, or the enemy might just have his way with you. Cling to what is good, abide in Christ, take your thoughts captive, and focus on truth. None of us is immune.

Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. 1 Peter 5:8-9


  1. I needed to read this! Thanks Amy!

  2. Sometimes we get so close its scary! I love your blog and the beautiful pictures of your family.


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