But we have the mind of Christ. I Corinthians 2:16 KJV
Get out of your own way”: We hear that phrase a lot, but what does it mean? How is it possible to get out of our own way? Are those words actually helpful to a person who feels stuck and needs some encouragement? Well, someone who gives us that advice has likely noticed that we’ve limited ourselves in some way. They may have seen us shying away from a step we are perfectly capable of taking, or they believe we have all we need to do what we’re dreaming of, but see that we’re allowing our thoughts to hold us back. Our mind can do a fantastic job of convincing us that we can’t do something and providing a long and detailed list of exactly why that is. Then there are the fears that creep in: What if I didn’t hear God correctly? What if I take a step in one direction and realize that it’s not my path after all? What will happen if I try but fail?
Many of us have felt these feelings, and we’re never alone in them. But what we sometimes forget is that we are not the only ones in our way; there’s an enemy of our soul who endeavors to block our path too. An enemy who lives to steal our joy and convince us that we have no chance, no ability, and no worth. If we take a prayerful step toward something we believe God has in store for us, we can be certain that there will be a counter move from the enemy. No matter what measure of “success” we achieve, the mere fact that we’re drawing close to our Maker is a direct hit on the darkness. The things we endeavor to do in our lives, whatever they may be, are about so much more than a destination. They’re about learning to walk in the light regardless of what we’re doing, and that means seeking God’s guidance and His presence above all and also listening to the voice of the Spirit over any other voice that competes for our attention (including our own fearful self-talk!). Having the “mind of Christ” (I Corinthians 2:16) is the single greatest protection we have from getting in our own way—or allowing anyone else to! The more we absorb the truths from His Word about who we are in Him, the less room there will be for doubt and negativity to creep in. We can move forward with more freedom and less fear, more joy and less stress, more trust that everything is unfolding just as He intends. The hymn “Fight the Good Fight” has encouraged believers through the years to find our strength and confidence in Christ alone:
Run the straight race through God’s good grace,
Lift up thine eyes, and seek His face;
Life with its way before us lies,
Christ is the path, and Christ the prize.
Paul’s reminder in Romans 12:2 (NIV) to “be transformed by the renewing of your mind” is vital for us in a world that will offer countless other ideas of how to “get out of our own way.” There is only One who knows exactly what we’re up to and why; only One who deeply understands our doubts and fears and offers all we need to clear the path ahead. Instead of keeping that narrow focus on whatever we’re trying to accomplish, we’re invited to keep our eyes on Him and enjoy the journey. There’s nothing on earth we could earn or achieve that brings the amount of satisfaction we find through walking with Jesus.
Dear God, sometimes my thoughts stand in the way of enjoying and experiencing all You have for me in my life. When I sense that struggle in my mind, I want to remember that You have given me the mind of Christ. May every fearful, anxious, or negative thought that comes up be replaced by Your promises of peace and assurance. Amen.
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