Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Therapy for a Noisy Mind

Read: Psalm 37

He looked like a normal healthy tall young man who exercises alongside me and others in the gym. When I asked him about his job, he replied that he did not have a full time job. He has a part-time job and he has disability status. One problem for him was that his mind became filled with conflicting voices. He suffered from a noisy mind.

I was reminded of this person after recently experiencing a “dry” period in my relationship with God. After following my daily pattern of Bible study, meditation and journaling, I missed hearing a specific word or insight from the Lord. As I reflected on this, God impressed on me that my mind was becoming too “noisy”. I was so busy doing work in God’s name that I failed to practice the discipline of stillness – waiting sufficiently on God to receive what He has for me at any given time.

Pastors, Christian leaders, and many Christians in all churches sometimes have a difficult time in sleeping because their minds are racing and noisy. When I experience this problem, I like to read precious sections of God’s word such as Psalm 37. Please take time to read all of it in a prayerful, willing spirit. This Psalm especially speaks to me of God who comes alongside in a warm intimate way to those who intentionally seek to wait on Him. In this Psalm, King David expressed symptoms of a noisy mind – distracted and filled with thoughts of urgency, worry, and frustration. He was deeply disturbed by the lives and actions of sinful arrogant people.

Moved by the Holy Spirit of God, David realized the appropriate therapy for his noisy distracted mind. This therapy is intended by God for us as well:

  • Trust in the Lord as you seek to daily do His will (Psalm 37:3, 5-6).
  • Delight in the Lord. Praise Him. Rejoice – reflect on His glorious heart and nature. “Take delight in the Lord and He will give you your heart’s desires.” (v.4, NLT)
  • Be still and make time to actively wait before God. Review promises in this Psalm; keep seeking Him and His will for you at this time. Recall that He is always in control as the eternal God who cares deeply for you.

Be still in the presence of the Lord

and wait patiently for Him to act…

The steps of the godly are directed by the Lord.

He delights in EVERY DETAIL of their lives.” (Psalm 37:7a, 23, NLT)

  • Wait and go at the same time. There is a time to wait and be still in one geographical place. But, there are other times that you need to get moving and act in obedience to God (see God’s response to Joshua in Joshua 7:10). As the old song says “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus.” As you act in response to what God reveals to you, He will help your mind to arise in Him and dispel those unhealthy noises.

“Don’t be impatient for the Lord to act!

Travel steadily along His path.

He will honor you, giving you the land.” (Psalm 37:34a)

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