The thought life is the beginning of victory or the beginning of defeat. Victories are won and lost here. The battle starts here and is won or lost here. Much is said in God's Word about our thoughts and what we do with them.
Proverbs 23:7 for as he thinks in his heart, so is he. "Eat and drink!'' he says to you, but his heart is not with you.
You are not going to be victorious is you are always walking in a defeated attitude. You will not even fight because you see yourself as having already lost the battle, but it doesnít have to be this way.
God has a better way for us His children. As a matter of fact He has already set the example for us in His thoughts toward us.
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.
If God will not think bad or evil thoughts toward us, who are we think bad or negative thoughts toward ourselves? We shouldnít. As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.
This is not just talking about the male gender but mankind as a whole. As you think in your heart so you are. That is a pretty sobering thought isnít it? What are your thoughts?
Many would say I canít help what I say. God's Word says yes you can therefore you can, but there are some steps we all must take.
Your mind is sort of like driving a car; you have a steering wheel that controls the direction of the car. If you turn it to the right it will go right and if you turn it left it goes left. That is such an obvious statement that it sounds silly, however the same principle applies to our Christian life. This very simple principle of God's Word is ignored by the great majority of Christian believers. I see it all the time .I am not saying this to point my finger, as I was there once myself, but to encourage people into a better way. It is something we all must continually put into practice.
Do you think anybody just went into a bank one day and robbed it without premeditation?
I donít think so. He would first have put much thought into what he was going to do. You have the choice to turn yourself over to these kinds of thoughts. They donít just happen without your permission.
Do you think someone would have an adulterous affair with absolutely no thought about it first, no again? As a man thinks in his heart so he is. You begin steering your mind into an unlawful U turn before you actually turn the wheel donít you. If you put enough thought into it, you most likely eventually do it. Change your thoughts.
We can turn our mind into the things that pertain to life and Godliness.
The other side of the coin so to speak is that we can turn our minds into the things of God.
God has given us very powerful weapons to help us control our thoughts and in turn fulfill prove God's Word true.
2 Corinthians 10:4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds,
5. casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,
6. and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.
Thoughts can become strongholds or they can be the vehicle we steer to the obedience of Christ. Cast down these worldly thoughts and replace them with God's thoughts.
The Apostle Paul said to the Romans Ö
Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Your mind is renewed by God's Word; it is not renewed by watching television or playing video games. I am not saying not to watch television or play video games, but if television or video games is more important to you than God, then you will program the computer that is your mind with these things rather than God's Word. The choice is ours and ours alone to make. Too much of anything can be a bad thing. The Apostle Paul said Ö
1 Corinthians 6:12 All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.
Things that are lawful can dominate us and bring us under their power if we let them.
We must cast down these worldly thoughts and replace them with God's thoughts. We do this by changing what we think on. What we put into our minds is what will go into our hearts and eventually be what comes out of hearts abundance. As Jesus said Ö
Matthew 12:34 "Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.
35. "A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil
man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things.
We canít let out hearts get full of the wrong things. In order to prevent that from happening, we must not allow our minds to spend too much time on things that are lawful but at the same time not expedient. Too much ice cream can be a bad thing. Too much of any good thing can be bad for you. So, enough said.
We have control over our thoughts and our thoughts have control over our faith and our faith has control over our destiny.
Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy meditate on these things.
The Apostle Paul is telling us what to think on, or literally to meditate on these things.
Strongís definition says to take an inventory, and also, to reason, reckon, suppose, think (on).
Something happens in this process. Some people think of meditation as some kind of mystic eastern religious thing, but this is not what God's Word is saying at all.
When you spend time pondering God's Word, it will change you like nothing else I know can. It will renew and transform your mind which will allow you to prove the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
You might say, what is proving God's Word. Proving God's Word to be true is seeing God's Word and God's will manifest in your life and that of your families. This is God's will for us. Remember what His thoughts are toward us. For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Our part is to do what His Word says to do in order for the purpose and divine will of God to be manifest in our lives. This is God will.
I want to end with a favorite Scripture of mine.
Joshua 1:8 "This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.
When we follow God's directions we get God's results. W.E. Vines Old Testament dictionary says this means "to meditate, moan, growl, utter, speak." to murmur; by implication, to ponder:
You are thinking and pondering and then literally speaking out of your mouth what you have been pondering.
Lets prove God's Word true, He is no respecter of persons. He wants our way successful.
Amen, Brother Mark! I must say that I am one of those people who have truly struggled with this point. Bringing those thoughts into subjection to Christ is not easy. But it can be done. We can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens us. And when we fail to do this one thing, (bringing those thoughts into subjection) then they grow and multiply and take root. And before you know it, they've taken over and become almost obsessive. It's nothing more than the enemy trying to do what he loves to do best -- stealing the Word. We simply MUST make up our minds to follow hard after Jesus and take hold of those "steering wheels," no matter how harmless those thoughts seem to be. Great article and one I can strongly attest to. And again, AMEN!