June 19,2021 by Kgalalelo
I wrote my book We live in the Mind a few years ago. This was based on divine inspiration I had received to write the book. The unfoldment of it, however, was unexpected, it was not how I had imagined it would be. I had something else in mind. I wanted God to speak to me through the book and I saw my role in this as a transcriber of what He said but it did not happen that way. Instead, I began to write my life’s story, my experiences right till the end.
The title though, was given to me by God, I believe so because on my own, I could not have perceived of such a title. I had been struggling with thoughts and more thoughts and these were not necessarily positive, they were full of strive as you can imagine. I could not get away from these thoughts. They were a part of me, and I took them with me wherever I went. They basically followed me around.
David in Psalm 23:6 states, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life”. I could not comprehend living such a life that David described. My followers were intense laborious thoughts about life and how to live it right in every area. This type of thinking was my life, and I thought this way throughout the day until I went to bed and when I woke up, I would pick up from where I had left off the previous day.
We never stop thinking, it is a continuous process and if you are not careful enough, you might spend most of your life thinking negatively. For a long period, this is exactly how I was living my life and it was terrible. I attended spiritual and motivational seminars all the time and read countless self-help books to try and escape my thoughts and sometimes they would help for a while but then when I put the book down, I would start thinking again and again. I was trapped in the same thinking pattern and there seem to be no escape.
It was only when I began to practice gratitude that I really had a better life because my thinking improved. I was living a better life inside of my head, in my mind. We do live in the mind, and it is such an effort to live this way, not seeing anything positive whereas there are countless blessings all around us. Many people ended up in mental hospitals because they struggled with their thoughts and could not see anything positive about their circumstances. They have been affected by life and difficult experiences which they could not get away from.
When you were trapped in a destructive way of thinking in the past and you finally saw the light and changed, you need to nurture the new way of living daily otherwise it is easy to fall back into that critical pattern again. Tending the garden of your thoughts is a constant process. I totally understand when God said to the Israelites in Joshua 1:8, “This Book of the Law must not depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. For then you will prosper and succeed in all you do”.
In Deuteronomy 17:14-15, the Lord said to Moses, :when you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you and have taken possession of it and settled in it, and you say, “Let us set a king over us like all the nations around us,” be sure to appoint over you a king the Lord your God chooses” and in verse 18-19 further goes to say. “When he takes the throne of his kingdom, he is to write for himself on a scroll a copy of this law, taken from that of the Levitical priests. It is to be with him, and he is to read it all the days of his life so that he may learn to revere the Lord his God and follow carefully all the words of this law and these decrees.
In Deuteronomy 11:18-20 as well, He states, “Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates”.
Can you see that we are to do the work otherwise we will not succeed? We are being instructed in how we should live, so that our minds may be purified. When you think about God the entire day, when you get up and when you go to sleep, you do not have the time to think about things that irritates you. You are then focused, and you have peace of mind. It requires plenty of effort.
I found that when I began to practice gratitude my spirit became light, and I will not give that up. It is a treasure that saved me. Jesus reached out His hand and took me out of the pit I was spiralling in, however, you must do this daily. Whenever I allow other things to bother me, I lose balance.
People can be disturbed by one thing for a whole year, and even more, yet God is present amid your troubled soul. The soul consists of the mind, intellect, and emotions. These go together, when you think happy thoughts, your emotions produce the feeling and it is the same way with bad thoughts, bad feelings follow. Your intellect is where you reason things out, it is right there in the middle. The thought transmits to the intellect and the intellect transmits to the emotions. They are all intertwined.
Psalm 139:8-10 says, “Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast”.
Wherever you find yourself, God is there, in your sadness God is present and, in your happiness, He is there too. He is with you in your bad and good thoughts, waiting to help you in your time of need. There is a thin line between the two, you can flip the switch in an instant from one to the other.
When you are challenged, and your soul is sorrowful, make an effort to reach out to God.
I know of people who are going round in circles every day and it continues for years. They cannot get over what happened to them, and they cry all day long. When the soul is scarred, it leaves a very deep mark. When you injure the thoughts and emotions of another, it can take a while to recover. Some people end up killing themselves because they do not see any way out, however, but there is a way, His name is Jesus.
He is waiting for us to ask Him for help. When all your tricks have ended, turn to Jesus. If you do not know how to do it, just say “hello Jesus, I need help”. Have a conversation with Him, there is no need to be formal about it. God has given us free will, so He does not encroach in our lives unless He is invited.
Another way is to praise God and give thanks for all He has done for you. Think deep about it. Something in your life is going right. There is no way that everything can go wrong all the time or at the same time. If you cannot, then dig into your past, you will find goodness and mercy written all over the events of your life. There is something you can be grateful for.
Psalm 100 is one of the shortest Psalms in the Bible and it makes the following declaration:
“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the Lord is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations”.
Praise or thanksgiving is what worked for me. When you begin to feel and express gratitude and appreciation for what God has done in your life, He does more for you and suddenly your situation begins to change because your focus is no longer on your hardships but on what you already have. Most people know about all these things I am talking about but living them on a daily basis is what changes things for you and what distinguishes you from others.
Nobody says that things will be easy all the time, I have my own issues that I am dealing with everyday. Sometimes people think that others are happy all the time, but it is not like that, even comedians feel despondent sometimes. They know how to make you laugh but sometimes cannot cheer themselves up. You do get counsellors who know how to encourage others but cannot help themselves. The adage that says, ‘a doctor can’t heal himself rings true’. You can give advice to others but struggle to apply the same guidance in your own life. Many rich people struggle too, they have the money, but they lack joy in their lives. Only God can truly soothe your heart.
I feel grateful that I have been exposed to many spiritual teachings and embarked on my own journey of self-discovery. If you could take time today and even if it is just a few moments to review your life, you will find good in it. You will discover that there have been countless times when God said to you, "This is the way; walk in it." (Isaiah 30:21).
Footnote: Scriptures taken from the The Holy Bible, New King James Version, 1982: Nashville, TN, Thomas Nelson, Inc. & The ESV Global Study Bible®, ESV® Bible, Copyright © 2012 by Crossway. All rights reserved & The Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com The “NIV” and “New International Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.™ (2004). Holy Bible: New Living Translation. Wheaton, Ill: Tyndale House Publishers. The Holy Bible, Berean Study Bible, BSB Copyright ©2016, 2018 by Bible Hub Used by Permission. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2016 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://netbible.com All rights reserved. The Living Bible copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
Kgalalelo Saane Mphephuka
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