Mar27SunHow good is my thought life? March 27, 2022
Take every thought captive! “We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ. (2 Cor. 10:5 ESVi)
You know, for the longest time I didn’t know that I had a choice when it came to my thoughts. When I first learned from science that everyone thinks about 60,000 thoughts a day, it blew my mind. That’s a lot of thoughts! That’s a crazy amount, right? Well, I got stuck on the thought that if all those thoughts are running wild, what does that do to me? I did a bit of studying and wow, there’s a lot of information out there on the mind, on the brain, and how thoughts can affect life. So, what does a Christian girl do? She runs to the Father with one simple word:"Help!” Help me to understand this from your perspective. What does this mean from a heavenly viewpoint?
What if I told you that most peoples thoughts on a daily basis are about 80% negative? And that over 90% of those thoughts are repetitive from the day before? That means that we are talking about people thinking negatively on a day to day basis and it’s mostly on the same things. This is not healthy! We’re talking about a rise of anxiety and depression in our world, especially among young adults. And it’s not Gods plan for us, at all.
I believe God wants our generation to become super aware of this. Number one: Our thoughts are our choice. You have to be aware of what you think about and that you can cut off bad thoughts. We can make a choice to be grateful instead of complaining, (gracious thoughts vs disagreeable thoughts). We can choose to think pure thoughts instead of lustful thoughts. We can choose to think thankfully, joyfully, pleasantly. We have to get rid of the idea that our thoughts control us and our day and get to the point where we are in control of what our thoughts do.
Take every thought captive to obey Christ! Think about this for a minute. Let’s say a thought filled with anxiety comes against you. When you are aware that you are in control of your thought life, you can immediately go on attack. You can say, why am I feeling this, is it a thought that is based on truth or is it me imagining the worst? By acknowledging the thought, you can deal with it. Too often we have just learned to tolerate these thoughts and then discovered too late they have taken over our mind. By acknowledging a thought, it’s as if you have put up a fence with a gate around your house. Now if anyone(a thought) wants to enter, it has to check in with the guard at the gate. If it’s a bad visitor, we deal with it and kick it out. We don’t allow it to come in and we don’t tolerate its presence. Negative thinking is negative energy, and it literally wrecks havoc inside our house, our bodies. We have to start thinking about what we are thinking about!
Realizing our minds need our attention and that we need to prioritize disciplining our thoughts, is a positive step. We don’t have to stay in toxic thinking! I was recently listening to a podcast on our brain. And this brain scientist was saying that every thought creates a pathway in our brain and the more you think on a thought the stronger its presence gets. So you could say, as you think on something, you are building on that same something. For instance, let’s say someone said hurtful words to me. If I keep thinking on what this person says, I build that reality in my brain, even though it might not be true at all. Plus, if I’m offended and choose to feel resentment, now I’m building pathways of bitterness and hate. Pretty soon, if I don’t deal with these thoughts, I have built a city of anger and bitterness inside me. Amazingly, when scientists scan a brain where negativity has been fostered, big chunks of black spaces show up. In retrospect, a healthy brain doesn’t have blackness or darkness in it!
The enemy is going, let’s take this child of God out of the game with doubt. Another one with anxiety. Another one with fear. Another one with confusion. Friends, we’ve got to get that this is an attack of the enemy. We have to start becoming continually conscious of our thoughts. You know, the ones that say, this will never happen, I’m not skilled, I’m too this or not enough of that. Or the blaming and shaming thoughts against ourselves and other people, where we complain and make excuses and feel sorry for ourselves. These thoughts create a reality inside of us that eventually becomes reality in our life. I believe we can spread wellness and wholeness just by changing the way we think. And I’m not just saying this hopefully, science has caught up to the Bible in this area and proven that our thoughts transform our brain and consequently our lives. I challenge you to study on this. You’ll be completely blown away. One very good example of how powerful the mind is, is something science calls the placebo effect. It is the positive effect on a person’s health experienced after taking a placebo(often just a sugar pill). It is triggered by the persons belief in the benefit from the treatment and their expectation of feeling better, rather than the characteristics of the placebo.
Training and disciplining our mind. This is what will change our world. Do we want to take responsibility for our thought life or are we content to just let the enemy run roughshod all over our hearts? Let’s keep in mind these words from scripture: “Have you forgotten that your body is now the sacred temple of the Spirit of Holiness, who lives in you? You don’t belong to yourself any longer, for the gift of God, the Holy Spirit, lives inside your sanctuary. You were God’s expensive purchase, paid for with tears of blood, so by all means, then, use your body to bring glory to God!” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 TPT
I personally believe that we have to become intentional in changing our mind. We can interrupt a negative or bad thought and say, No, you’re not going there and you’re not going to follow that thought through to its end. I am responsible for where my mind goes. And yes, this means that sometimes I have to force myself away from a certain line of thinking and pursue thoughts that bring me into Christlike-ness. This is called discipline. So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective.” Colossians 3:1-2 MSG
We can bring our thoughts into the boundary of God thoughts. We have that ability. I was astounded how often the Bible talks about our thoughts and minds and on the importance of a focused heart, once I looked for it. I believe that if we focus on Him and begin to see through His eyes, He will set us free from wrong mindsets and negative thinking processes. Ephesians 4:23 says we can be renewed in the spirit of our mind. This means taking on thoughts and attitudes that are reflections of Christ within you. And 1 Cor. 14:20 admonishes us to be mature in our thinking, not childish. See, children say what they think, they have no filter. But as adults we should have a filter! We ought not to think on every thought that pops in our minds. That’s childish. Paul says, that when he was a child he used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child, but when he became a man, he did away with childish things.( 1 Cor.13:11). Keep in mind he was talking to a church who according to the first chapter, did not lack in any spiritual gift.
James 1:8: A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways. Double-minded is inconsistent. How many of us know that inconsistency is a driving force into nowhere? Let’s choose to be consistent in thinking on God things. If that means I need to write verses on a piece of paper and put it in my pocket so that I can read them throughout the day, I’ll do it. If it means I need to set an alarm on my phone every hour to remind me to bring my thoughts God-ward, I’ll do it. I’ll be a soldier, training until it’s ingrained into me.
Yes, we can’t do this on our own. From personal experience, I can tell you this. There is no way we can bring thoughts captive to God without God. Me focusing on bringing my thought life into obedience...is kinda hopeless. But just my focusing on Him and filling up on His words, is power enough to set me free. My will power is limited, His is endless.
Also, Holy Spirit is our greatest gift! Ask Him for advice, for help, for guidance. I’ve had to ask, Lord why was I so sensitive to what this person just said to me? And often I’m given an answer that amazes me. The spirit wants to reveal things to us! Sometimes its because I have developed a wrong mindset on things. Sometimes the spirit shows me that this person is struggling and hurting and what they said has nothing to do with me at all. I can choose to look at everything through the lens of love. It’s astounding how love gives us a greater perspective on people and situations. How quick love is to change our minds!
Be transformed by the renewing of your mind! We can be transformed, body, soul and spirit. It just takes an daily effort of our will to do so. An act of saying, I am responsible for my thought life. The devil knows that as a man thinks in his heart, so that man will be. Now if he knows this, don’t you also think he’ll exploit on it? He does.
Let us labor to enter into Gods rest! We have to work at this thought thing. We have to work to enter into the place where we are in Gods rest. What is that? Think about what it would be like to rest in Gods house, if you were there right now. Hold on to that vision and experience that versus paying attention to what undermines you. I think if I were resting on a couch in Gods house, I’d be smiling, at peace, and probably trusting that my Father loves me and has the answers. Resting ensures and revives, and even though life isn’t smooth sailing, it sure is easier when you can live it with the Rock of Ages, for His mercy and grace are new every morning.
So, here’s to God-thoughts! May we be a renewed and transformed army. Mighty in thought and deed. We are His ambassadors here on earth, so let’s show the world what heaven on earth can look like!