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10-16-2012 10:41:20 PM

Hebrews 11:15 (NIV)

“If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had the opportunity to return.”

 God fashions our minds as incredible and powerful creations.  We can improve recovery rates with positive thoughts, or convince ourselves that an otherwise empty house is suddenly filled with no less than 3 burglars and a closet-monster.  Our minds are powerful.  There is a reason people take-on a tough situation with a “mind-over-matter” approach and why a “Pollyanna” mindset lightens up a room.  But Pollyanna wasn’t the originator of this idea.  Through the pen of Paul, God commands for us to “think about [excellent and praiseworthy] things.” (Phil. 4:8 NIV)

 Such a small part has control over our physical body parts, and even our emotional state.  Every move we make is first calculated in our mind, causing the author of Hebrews to say with confidence:

“If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had the opportunity to return.”

(If you remember back to last week, we read that Abraham, then Abram, stepped out on faith and left the only country he knew, for a home promised by God.)

 It’s so interesting to me that this scripture denotes thinking as the main action.  It’s not, “If they incessantly talked about their old home,” or “If they framed pictures of the past all over their walls,” or even “If they made weekend trips back” – simply, “If they had been thinking.”  They became susceptible to forsaking the promises of God with a mere thought, a brief acknowledgement of the past.  And so do I. 

 Our minds dictate our actions:

“For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace” (Romans 8:6 ESV)

In Romans 12, Paul talks about separating from this world’s enticement not by disciplining your body, but by “the renewal of your mind” (v.2 ESV). 

 I don’t know about you, but I would rather not return to my past before Christ (“the country they had left” v.15).  I want to press forward and delve deeper into my life with Him (“a better country – a heavenly one” v. 16).  But how?

2 Corinthians 10:5 gives us our game plan:

“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (NIV).

And obedience is not thinking back to former things, but awaiting with confidence the things to come. 

 May it be said of me – She did not have the opportunity to return to her “former country” because she “longed for a better country – a heavenly one.”

 Please specifically pray for our residents this week that they will choose to dwell on Christ and His promises.  Pray that God will use Heart of Hope to give these girls even a small glimpse of the better, eternal country He has prepared for them.