The past few weeks have been a challenge emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. There were things I needed to work through and am still working through, and that's half the fun, I guess. I've decided to create a hedge of protection for my own sanity and purity.
My pastor gave a great example last Sunday, he said that soldiers encamped, literally, imprison themselves for safety and freedom. The mental picture of Camp Bastion, a British military base--I know of this one, specifically, because Prince Harry was stationed there, and there was a feature of his time there--with its heavy fortification and protocols flashed to mind. Imagine, it can be loosely thought of as a small town of British soldiers, and at one time, held the third (now forth) in line to the throne of the UK. Think about the safety and, albeit relative, normality of living within this "town". But emphasis on the word "within".
That segues into my own life and this question: how badly do I want to be free of...? While the sermon was about sexual immorality, it also encompasses all types of sin that ensnares. I know my triggers. A few of our discipleship sermons are on the "Place of Temptation"--keep far away!--and "Protecting Your Heart", which I know I should be constantly mindful of.
I'm not going to lie, I'm not straight laced at all. I do like to skirt the lines of what I should and shouldn't be doing, much to the dismay of my parents. Bless their hearts and patience. But mostly, I think it's to the chagrin and vexation of my Comforter and Life Guide (very sorry Holy Spirit!). And because it's true, that we can't serve two masters, I'm frustrated with wanting to do great things in the Kingdom, and doing my own thing. Time to decidedly pick one and stick to it.
So, the question remains: How badly do I want to be free of...? Right now, pretty [insert expletive here] badly. It was yesterday, I think, that was really my turning point. I had talked to my mother in the morning about the frustration of this semester and not finding a foothold. She encouraged me to meditate on a few verses and I also remembered a few verses from the sermon on Sunday. "God is not a man, that He should lie...", it says in Numbers 23:19. Isaiah 41:9-10 and the whole chapter of John 14 brought peace to my heart. And in that, the decision to be viciously concerned about my mental purity.
Mental purity doesn't mean taking on a naive innocence, but to sterilize the mind of earthly musings. Basically, 2 Corinthians 10:5 "We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." Yeah, this. Or succinctly: Colossians 3: 2, 5-15. These things, whether I have actively or passively given place to them, thanks to our culture, take up a lot of space in my mind. Frankly, I've got to do away with them, because I need more space for other things--greater things.
Succinctly; things I've learned: Be viciously concerned about sanctification. Righteousness, Peace, and Joy in the Holy Ghost flows freely when sanctification is the priority. Grace abounds. All these things will follow.
TL;DR: I've got a foothold, the mountain that has been causing my frustrations, diversions, insecurity and general mental icky-ness will crumble and go into the sea. I know who I am, I know what I am capable of in Christ. I am sure because He doesn't lie, and all He wants is what's best for me, which is Himself.