Keeping Our Thoughts Under Control
by naomi Cassata 9/22/2009 / Christian Living
The Bible has a lot to say about what goes on upstairs in our minds. It is not only the main center that dictates how our physical bodies work, but also the board room that greatly affects our spiritual lives. It is our responsibility to manage what flows through our minds examining the good from the bad.
Reading through scriptures we can find many interchangeable references referring to our minds. Here are a few: imaginations, meditations, thoughts and even our souls. Our minds are like secret rooms that no one has access to unless we choose to reveal them. Of course God has access at all times. He knows exactly what each mind is meditating on. David exclaimed: May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer. (Psalm 19:14) David knew that his meditations were important to God. He learned that sin stems from the inside, and if he could cause his meditations to line up with God's word, his actions would follow suit.
Throughout any given day, we are attacked by hundreds if not thousands of thoughts-most harmless. We need those harmless thoughts to get us through any normal day. They help us remember appointments or decide what to eat for lunch.
Then there is what I call the "in-between thoughts." These are thoughts we have in-between our everyday normal thoughts. Many times they are lingering and even captivating. They have the potential to lead us into sin if they are not tamed by the word of God.
CAPTURING OUR THOUGHTS
When a thought passes through our mind that is less than godly, so to speak, it must immediately be captured and cast out. We should never allow sinful thoughts to float around in our imagination realm. Too often we fall prey to these kind of thoughts. Whether it is a thought of revenge over a wrong done to us, lust over what someone else has or rage over what another has said to us, if we dwell on them, they will begin to consume our everyday lives. We will eventually act out our revenge, lust or rage. If we don't take our thoughts captive, they will take us captive. An evil thought is like an unwelcomed rodent that just won't leave unless we make it leave. Satan is always behind these thoughts. If he can control our thought life, he will hold us in bondage.
Next, our minds must be continually renewed. When we renew our minds, we are feeding it truth from God's word. We can only do this by reading the Bible and finding out how we are to respond when we are faced with a bad thought. It is like setting a new course for our thoughts to follow; a course that lines up with the word of God for a particular situation. For example, say someone does something to offend us. Our minds begin to be bombarded with various thoughts. Some may be to get revenge; others thoughts may be to never forgive. These are not one time thoughts, but instead they are "thought patterns." The next time someone offends us, we will have these same thoughts. Nothing changes from situation to situation. Until we change courses and follow the pattern God has orchestrated in His word, we will never find freedom from this way of thinking.
Lastly, it is equally important to keep our minds focused. We find in Philippians 4:8 exactly what course we are to follow. Our minds must be focused on whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy. These types of thoughts are pleasing to God.
It is important that we strive to keep our thought lives pure before God. Once we've lined our thought patterns up with the word of God, our actions will be close behind.