Engage Your Mind

One child, who will remain nameless, jerked the van’s sliding door in a moment of anger, wrenching door off the track. It hung limply, almost completely unhinged. We were already running late for a dental appointment, and this added a SLOW drive through town while my child clung to the sliding door nearly dragging on the pavement beside us.

Emotionally Overwhelmed

Do you connect the word “overwhelmed” to that kind of situation? Does the word have to be negative? If you’re a parent, think back to the first time you cradled your newborn. Did you cry? Did you laugh? Did you do both because your emotions were so overwhelmed?

I remember the first time I saw my daughter. Kevin and I anxiously waited. We were an ocean away from home, tucked into a room with ten crying Asian babies. Our gazes desperately moved from one tiny face to another until they locked onto the girl who reflected the image of the picture we had received two months prior. We could hardly stand it, waiting for permission to reach out and comfort our daughter.

Spiritually Overwhelmed

I know what it is like to be overwhelmed emotionally. I also know what it is to be overwhelmed spiritually. I know what it means to be moved to tears during worship. I know what it means to be overwhelmed with love for God and add my voice to the choir singing out praise.

I’ve sat under preaching that has touched me so deeply that I could feel the Spirit of God prompting my heart to repentance. I have trembled as a familiar text of Scripture comes alive with fresh meaning as the Lord opens my ears to his Word.

Mentally Overwhelmed?

When was the last time my mind was overwhelmed by God? Jesus said that we are to love the Lord with all our heart, soul, and MIND (Matt 22:37).


Let’s go back to that opening illustration of the van. At that moment, I wanted an emotional release. I wanted to yell, to vent, to express my frustrations. But do my feelings have to drive my actions?

God helped me recall something I often tell my children:

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The sin is not in the feelings of anger or frustration, but it is far easier to fall into sin in those moments of anger or frustration. The sin or victory is revealed in our response.

When my emotion tempts me toward sin, when my flesh wants to indulge in the temporary release of frustration, it is more important than ever that I engage my mind. Scripture tells me that I am a new creation (2 Cor 5:17), no longer a slave to the old ways (Gal 4:7). Scripture tells me that God hears me when I call out to Him (Ps 4:3). Scripture tells me that all things are possible with God (Matt 19:26).

Engage the Mind

God met me in that moment of frustration, and by engaging my mind and recalling the truth that sets me free, I did not sin in my anger. Being overwhelmed can be a good thing when I’m overwhelmed by God and by truth.

Be overwhelmed.

Is your love fickle?

If you look closely, you’ll see it—the evidence of a dried up root, the lack of passionate worship, the absence of devoted prayer. It caters to the appetite of culture. It softens the Word, resulting in worship of the blessing rather than worshiping the Bless-er.

And God departs.

Bounty may remain for a period, fooling many, but inevitably, the fruit shrivels. The plant dies when the Spirit of God leaves. It’s happening all around us. Once a picture of abundance and blessing, now withered nations, withered congregations, withered families, withered hearts struggle to survive.

Why do passionate people drift from their first love of the Lord? What causes us to grow indifferent and callous toward Him? What transforms faith into routine that breeds fickle love? Our attendance slips. Weariness grows. Works become a chore and tongues wag. The atmosphere dips and eventually turns cold. God departs and takes His blessings with Him. It is the consequence of fickle love.

Look close and you’ll see it. In many places, the Lampstand has been removed for the abandonment of first love.

It is not enough to toil with patient endurance. It is not enough to test and expose false teachers. It is not enough to endure patiently, bearing up for Jesus’ sake and not growing weary. It is not enough, because without passionate love for God—God removes His presence (Rev 2:2-3).

The bride is no longer like grapes in the wilderness, like the first fruit of the fig tree in its first season. Woe to the bride who becomes a thing of shame.

*Read Hosea 9 , Revelation 2:1-7