Author J.R.R.Tolkien has brilliantly written an epic story of good and evil, power, greed, and redemption, which has impacted many people’s understanding of these forces and their roles in this world. As we examine the room of the mind today, my mind instantly goes to a scene from the movie adaptation in which what was once good has been corrupted…to potentially the ruin of all. Here is an scene from “The Two Towers” in which two young hobbits, innocent and loving creatures, learn a bit of that lesson from the old and wise shepherd of the forest, Treebeard.
As Treebeard, Meri and Pippin are walking through the woods towards safety at the prodding of Gandalf the White, Pippin notices smoke rising in the distance. Treebeard comments that there is always smoke coming from Isengard these days. He goes on to say that Saruman the White, used to walk in those woods and care for growing things, but now has a mind of metal.
What happened to Saruman? What changed him from the white wizard who was respected and revered as an authority; a leader, into the power hungry force of destruction that he is portrayed as in the two towers? Originally Saruman was good, but somewhere during the fulfillment of his proposed purpose in middle earth, he changed and became what he originally worked to defeat. Evil.
We all have the potential to realize a corrupted purpose. Originally we can desire good,working toward God’s purpose for us, with every intention of noble purpose. But the fact is, the evil forces of this world are constantly working to derail us, to persuade us that our desires and theirs are the same. Before long, the need for control and power take over and all of the good that was in us has been hardened into metal.
Treasure for this room consists of peace and contentment. When our minds are at peace, the rest of our lives can fall into place. The mind controls our emotions, how we feel in any given situation, and how we react to the world around us. So protecting it is of utmost importance.
The Apostle Paul instructs us in Philippians 4:8,9:
“Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me , or seen in me – put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” (emphasis mine)
Peace is our goal. Peace in our homes. Peace in our work. Peace in our ministry. Peace in our reactions to the external. Peace in our hearts. When these things are at peace…contentment will follow.
Putting this into practice is a whole different matter. It isn’t enough to read the bible and know what it says, we have to put its lessons into practice in our lives. Live the way we were meant to live. If we simply read the words but don’t make any changes to our behavior, we are not changed. It’s easy to sit in church on Sunday listening to a wonderful sermon, nodding our heads in agreement, but then return to our lives unchanged, acting the way we always act, doing the things we always do, thinking the things we always think. We have to apply these truths, make changes. But how?
Examine what you put into your mind through television, books, and the internet. Media is a great tool for Satan to infiltrate our minds. Make sure that you are engaging in worthy media.
Pay attention to the conversations that you have. Are they kind? Do they build or destroy? Is there a particular person that drags you into a negative pattern of thinking? If so, try directing the conversation toward the positive, or ask them not to go there. If this doesn’t work then it may be time for you to take a break from that friendship.
Fill your mind with worthy and wholesome things. Movies and books can start off great but quickly turn malevolent before you even know it is happening. Determine to find wholesome entertainment.
Music can be another avenue for Satan to work his evil deeds. Did you know that before his fall he was in charge leading worship to God? Hmmmm….so he most likely knows how to manipulate that particular entertainment very well….to the ruin of many. (remember all of the angels that went with him?)
Finally – and above all, read God’s words to you ….His personal love letter to His children. And pray…everyday. For His strength when we need it. His mercy and grace when we fail. And His love throughout these trials of life. Always Love.
If you take steps to live a changed life, peace will come. Write “PEACE” on notecards and place around your house, in your car, on the mirror in your bathroom, or in your drawer at work to remind you to always seek it. Peace will come my friends, and He will bring it to you when you seek Him with all your heart!
Lord, give me peace this day in all that I do, in all that I think, and in all that I say. I desire this above all things, for I know that when I place myself in your hands and live as you desire, everything else will fall into place. Remind me daily to seek you, for when I seek you with all my heart I know that I will find you. Amen
Soli Deo Gloria!
Next week is the final week for “the rooms of our house” series. We will be talking about the body and linking all of the rooms together to show how they help to rebuild our “temples”.
See you next monday!