March 12th Devotion

A Prayer for God-Thoughts Day and Night
By Laura Bailey

“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” - Romans 12:2 NLT

Our lives are full of distractions. I sit down to read my Bible in the morning, but at the familiar buzz of my phone, I pause and read my latest text message. Ten minutes later, after I checked my e-mail, added items to the grocery list, and scrolled through social media. Now, out of time before I need to get ready for work, I close my Bible, leaving the day’s reading unfinished. I head into the grocery store to grab milk for tomorrow’s breakfast. I see a bright yellow sign displaying the week’s sales items and wander off in search of adding these groceries to my cart.

I get home and realize that I’ve forgotten the milk. I start cleaning the house, but when my vacuum is caught on a stray sock under the bed, I turn the vacuum off and start re-organizing the whole room. Fast forward 3 hours, and I am surrounded by piles of clothes, shoes, and toys. I make a note to ensure I return to the vacuum tomorrow. Yes, many of us must work hard to stay focused on the task. So many things are vying for our attention, and far too often, we focus on the temporary over the eternal.

Over 100 passages of Scripture speak about our minds and the importance of focusing on the right things, the things that are of God. It is important as believers to start each day with the right mindset because our perspective and thoughts will ultimately lead to action. For us to live godly lives, it starts with thinking godly thoughts. So, how do we do that? How do we keep our thoughts on God, day and night, in a world overflowing with distractions?

Paul addresses that in our key verse in Romans 12:2, “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” To think about the things of God, we have to renew and transform the way we think. To help us fight distractions and stay focused on what God’s will is for our lives, we must learn to love what God Loves and hate what hates— this is a lifelong process that is a result of a continual immersion in God’s Word and the Holy Spirit’s work in our life. In other words, it takes intention and time; it is a consistent and constant surrendering of our thoughts to the Lord.

Friend, I know how difficult it is to keep your thoughts focused on the Lord. To not be swayed by the things of this world, prioritizing the things that have no eternal significance over time with the Lord. But we serve a God who is patient with His children and gives grace and mercy when we fall short. His mercies renew every morning; each day is a new opportunity to look more like Christ in our thoughts, speech, and actions.

Let’s pray:
Heavenly Father, we humbly come before you, acknowledging all the ways we fall short. Yet, You are longsuffering. You love your children; You quickly forgive if we confess our transgressions. We ask that through the work of the Holy Spirit, our minds are transformed to be more like You. Help us to be focused on Your will for our lives, looking at not what we can see, which is temporary, but concentrate on the unseen, which is eternal (2 Corinthians 4:18). Heavenly Father, let us be people who are so in tune with the Holy Spirit that we can resist distractions and things that keep us from reading the Scriptures, praying and abiding in Christ. Help us look different from the world, knowing that we were bought at a price; let us live lives worthy of the gospel.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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