By Cathy Irvin
In a few weeks my four-year-old great-granddaughter, Destiny and I will go on our first camping trip together to Norfolk Botanical Gardens. At the Gardens, there is an area where families can stay overnight. It's called the "Enchanted Forest."
I would like to go to the Rose Garden to camp out, but camping is prohibited there. If I were to go there, I would probably get in trouble. Secondly, it is wrong to disobey, and I wouldn't want to be a poor example to my little Destiny. Thirdly, we would be unprotected. And, if we stayed in the Rose Garden, we could risk an encounter with thorns, and that is not good!
All in all, it's reason enough pitch our tents in the right place. It is always a good idea to obey the rules and get our minds settled on the fact that following instructions is good. Then we will have success and a safer journey.
Recently my pastor preached a message about obeying the road signs in life because they are there for a purpose. If we heed the warnings, we will avoid defeat, destruction, and failure. I have been mediating on his message and considering how it applies to our thought lives.
The most important thing is that we must refuse to dwell on negative thoughts. I gave myself a pep talk and said, "Hey girl, you can't camp on this thought because it will drag you into failure."
A coach tells his team, "We are going to succeed because we are winners." That positive thought becomes the focus.
This verse from the Word of God can replace a negative thought:
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." (Philippians 4:13, KJV)
We all want to succeed. No one sets himself up to fail. At times, I felt I could not do something, but when I asked the Lord for help, He shows up. This scripture has helped me think positively.
Psalm 138:8a says,
"The LORD will perfect that which concerns me; Your mercy, O Lord, endures forever." (NKJV)
God has great plans for our lives. We are not destined to be quitters, no matter how difficult the task before us. God will not forsake us. If everything in life were easy, we would not see the value of being stretched. When difficulties arise, we must rely on God and not ourselves.
If you're like me, and you think negatively about something that you want to accomplish, remember the sign. It says "No Camping." We are not intended to stay in a place of defeat.
It's time to develop a new way of thinking. The Lord is making a way in your situation. He is perfecting everything that concerns you. Let your mind camp out in God's Word. Put on the mind of Christ.
1 Corinthians 2:16 says,
"For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ." (NKJV)
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Cathy Irvin authored well over 50 Devotions for CBN over three decades where she served the Lord Jesus Christ at the Christian Broadcasting Network. Cathy loved telling stories and glorifying God in all that she did. On December 16, 2011, Cathy left this earthly dwelling to take up residence in the dwelling prepared for her in Heaven. Her Devotions minister with love and truth.
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