Being mindful. Total immersion. Paying attention. Taking every thought captive. These are just a few of the ways to describe the place God has me in my life at this point. It isn’t anything new for me. In fact, I have been here many times in my life. No matter how many times God draws me back to this place, I learn something new each time. He draws me out a little deeper. Just when I think I’ve experienced all there is to know about God, He shows me something much different. He continues to surprise me with new truth and wisdom.

Today I’m in a whole new place than where I was a day ago, a month ago, or even a year ago. It’s constantly changing. There have been times I felt as if God was a million miles away only to discover that He was closer to me than my next breath. It was only my feelings trying to lie to me. The truth was that He had never left me or forsaken me. Focusing on that one truth helped to put it all into perspective.

Thinking about what I’m thinking about is where I continue to come back to over and over again. I have learned that I am the only one responsible for my thoughts. Something may cross my mind, but I’m the one who decides if it goes or stays. This is a moment-by-moment battle I am engaged in, but God promises me I can have victory in this area of my life. I can’t live passively here. I must be proactive at all times. My go-to truth is Philippians 4:8. “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” If my thoughts don’t line up with anything in this scripture, then I throw it out.

Just as my physical diet helps me to live a healthier lifestyle, so does my spiritual diet. What are the things I’m taking in? What am I viewing? What am I listening to? What am I reading? Who am I spending time with? These are all questions I must ask myself each day. I must constantly be doing a heart check to make sure I’m not getting off course. The enemy likes to use the subtle, often overlooked areas to try and trip me up.

Not everyday goes as planned. Sometimes I get off track. I’ve learned not to beat myself up over it. I grow from the situation. I get back up and try again knowing this time I’m a little bit stronger than before. There will be mess-ups, but that’s no excuse for me staying down. The enemy wants to keep me there, but the power of God inside of me won’t let me stay there. Knowing the same power that raised Jesus from the dead lives in me gives me the strength to face another day with new challenges and adventures.

So where do I go from here? How much more will God challenge me? Where will all of this growing and changing take me? Only God knows the answer to these questions. I am a constant work in progress. In fact, I will be until I finally cross the finish line in heaven. It sounds good in theory to always stay the same, but the truth is I wouldn’t really find true joy here. It’s in the constant molding of the clay where God is perfecting a masterpiece. He’s creating a prized possession. Priceless. Beautiful. Unique. A true work of art by The Master. I know who I am in Christ, and I take it all to heart. That’s who I am so that’s what I choose to believe about myself. Not the lies from the enemy, but the truth of My Father. He gave heaven’s best for me. I was worth His greatest sacrifice.

I allow The Father to continue His purifying, cleansing, and reshaping work in my life. I am His, and He is mine. I want Him to make me who He wants me to be, not who I think I should be. As I watch each brushstroke from His hand paint the canvas of my life, I begin to see a work of art appear. The Artist is bringing it all together – one stroke of the brush at a time.

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