A Racing Mind
I live it way too often. My mind won’t shut off. I can’t rest. I almost can’t think because the thoughts are coming so fast that I can’t tell truth from foolishness.
Ephesians 4:23 says to “Be renewed in the spirit of your mind.” When my mind is racing, what is happening? What is the spirit of my mind?
As we sat in group, I saw it. It is much easier to see in others than it is to see it in yourself. It is also much easier to see it in others when you have lived it yourself. We most easily see in others what we would like to be able to judge in ourselves. I can see it in others, but far too often, I am powerless to stand up to my own racing mind.
As I looked at the man across the room, I saw it. The driver. Faith in self. The reason our minds race is because we still believe we can “figure it out.” Where there is faith in our ability to “get it right,” the race will continue.
I’ve said it before in other articles about self hatred. Those who are beating themselves up still believe in their ability to change themselves. When the faith in self stops, the beating of self ceases. We get down on ourselves because we believe we should be able to do it better.
The truth is that the power of sin is much greater than we often believe. The law of sin and death says that one of the penalties of sin is a tendency to do that same sin again and even to do it at a more grotesque level the next time we fall. To overcome that sin tendency is a fight that cannot be won with pure human energy.
Sure. We might win the fight for a day or a week or a month or even a generation. But the law of sin and death is greater than our ability to beat it back … unless. There is only one answer to the unless. That answer is God. When we receive strength from Him, we have the power to overcome the law of sin and death. When we receive strength from others who are receiving strength from Him, we have the power to overcome.
The victory is not in fighting harder but in receiving strength. Philippians 4:13 says that “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Psalm 31:24 says, “Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all you who hope in the Lord.” Strength. From God. That is the answer.
Instead, we believe that we should be able to find the answer. So our minds race. Those whose minds race the most are often manipulators. They believe they should be able to do the right thing or to say the right thing to get the right response from others. Or they are perfectionists. They believe that they should be able to come up with the right response to absolutely nail it. Faith in self.
When we actually understand our absolute powerlessness in the face of sin, how can our minds continue to race? There is another way. It is called quieting self and waiting. Receiving strength and direction. One Word from God is more powerful than a million thoughts from self.
The mind cannot be quiet as long as it still believes in self—as long as it believes it can come up with a solution with just a little more effort. The sad thing is that a racing mind blocks out the presence of God. Our minds tend to run on whatever track is controlling our spirits. Faith is self is not a good spiritual track. Faith in self spawns control and fear and manipulation and many other bad things. And the mind races on—thinking it can and will come up with a solution, not realizing that the race is blocking the presence of God. Not realizing that the race is guaranteeing that the mind will stay on a track that cannot solve anything.
Peace. It is a great start to better thoughts. Peace only comes when we see and confess the faith in self. A better life starts when we realize that the racing thoughts are blocking the presence and the voice of God which could give us a solution. In short, the racing thoughts are sin. They are blocking God from our spirit and they are glorifying self—even if they don’t seem to be glorifying self.
When we see the racing thoughts as sin and own it fully, that kind of deep repentance will make room for God. His peace. His presence. Trust in God not self. It is a completely different track with a completely different set of outcomes.
Do you want a better life? Get off the race track and onto God’s path!