Yesterday and this morning, my thoughts and mind ponders over two questions; What is important to God? and What brings change into our lives?
As I open my heart to the very idea of our thoughts and the mind, I am reminded of what the scriptures states on the subject of “the mind”.
This may take some time to read but remember, it also took some time for me to pen my thoughts and search the scriptures. May it bless you as much as it has blessed me to write it.
The first part of this letter, we will look at our thoughts, comprised of moments of instant thinking. If not proper managed, can drag us down.
Let’s define what is meant by our thoughts (our thinking), our mind, our heart and our soul.
Thoughts are the instant thinking going into the mind. The Mind is the activity of the thinking self using logic and/or reason to arrive at insights and conclusions about people, events, belief systems and life. … the Soul is the intertwining of our thoughts, the mind and the heart. The Soul is the complex of all our knowing and believing.
The SOUL is who we are, what we are or you might say, the part of us that will be judged on judgement day.
Our thoughts are comprised of our instant thinking and goes to our mind. Our mind is the place where our instant thoughts are compiled and formulated. You might say our mind is the place where our rational thinking is compiled and enters into our heart and rests into our soul.
I believe what we think on is vital; for here lies what goes into our minds in which we dwell and is placed into our hearts and ultimately makes up our soul.
If our thoughts are allowed to wonder and dwell on evil, unGodly, immoral or wrong thinking; that of anything not of good report; they will enter our mind and if dwelled upon will open our heart to the deceiving ways of Satan.
From our hearts comes our desires, our emotions, our attitudes, our actions and our motives. The heart is closely connected to the very soul of our being In other words, ultimately what is in our heart makes up our soul or you might say, makes up who we are and what we become.
We must guard over our thoughts, control our thoughts. The scriptures speak of this very thing, which will hinder the move of God’s power in our life. When we think on things that are NOT of good report; things of the world, evilness, immoral and unGodly, we open our minds and hearts to the ways of Satan.
What does the Scriptures, God’s Word say about our thinking and our mind?
“Do not copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” Ro. 12:2
Changing the way you think changes your perspective which changes how you act in the world. Paul’s words aren’t new. “Change your mind” is the central theme of Jesus’ first sermon (Matthew 4:17).
The very Words of God, the Bible, must become part of us, yes, become part of our thoughts, mind and heart.
Jesus challenged people to change their thinking because regardless how many times you read through the Bible, if your mind doesn’t change, you will simply be placing your old nature, your own self-prejudice on the words you read.
I once heard it said, ” what you think is what you are” or another way to say this is, “what you think is what you become”.
“A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.” Matthew 12:34.
“God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” 2 Tim. 1: 7.
When you choose fear, your life and legacy suffers. Christ came to free us from the works of Satan. Yes, we are Redeemed by the blood of the lamb, Jesus. There is NO fear in those who are IN CHRIST JESUS; who have placed their trust in Christ Jesus.
“I lavish unfailing love to a thousand generations. I forgive iniquity, rebellion, and sin. But I do not excuse the guilty. I lay the sins of the parents up on their children and grandchildren; the entire family is affected — even children in the third and fourth generations.” Exodus 34:7.
“Take every thought captive.” Is it even possible to take every thought captive? Yes, “if” we trusted God’s word, we would know it is possible; for the very Spirit of God dwells in the believer in the power of the Holy Ghost (the Holy Spirit indwelling in the born again believer).
The answer to capturing our thoughts is stated in Psalm 46:10, “Be still and know that I am God.” The powerful effects of prayer and meditating on His Word has truly brought positive and proven results in the Christian life.
Capturing your thoughts requires stillness. And in our business of doing life there seems to be no time for it. And as long as we have no time for prayer, our thoughts, emotions, and feelings will continue calling the shots.
Yes, wrong thoughts will continue as long as we feed our minds with worldly views, ungodly or immoral thoughts. Our minds must be fed with good thoughts!
“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.” Philippians 4:8
The “Christian” is to be a peculiar person. Yes, we are to be a different people. We are made a New Creation in Christ Jesus. We are different from the world BECAUSE of Christ and the Holy Spirit indwelling in us as a believer, comforting, leading guiding us into all truth.
We will choose daily whom we will serve, in our thoughts, mind and heart.
- Love chooses the good in people.
- Love sees the good in people.
- Love sees lost people and will share the love of Jesus to the hurting.
- What is your focus?
- What do you see?
- Do you see a lost soul coming into the Kingdom?
- Do you see a lost soul in need of a Savior?
- Does the lost soul see the love of Christ Jesus in you?
As someone thinks within himself, so he is. Proverbs 23:7
- Do you believe that you were created in the image of God, full of love and grace.
- What might happen if you started believing this?
Maybe it’s time we start capturing those thoughts;
- thoughts that are noble,
- thoughts that are right,
- thoughts that are pure,
- thoughts that are lovely,
- thoughts that are admirable —
if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things.”
Let’s compare the thoughts that drag us down to that of the “remora fish”. The “remora fish” has on its head a sucking disk by which they attach themselves to sharks, whales, sea turtles or the hulls of ships causing a drag and delay to the thing or item it is attached to.
Likewise, we can allow certain thoughts in our lives to become obstacles that hinder and delay the very move and power of God in our lives; many times bringing remorse, guilt and regret.
Just as our thoughts can stop God’s power in our lives; likewise, surrendering this area to Christ can bring “personal revival” in ones’ heart, leading to a changed life.
Proverbs 4:23 (NLT) Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.
(To have a pure heart we must be willing to submit all our thoughts, our will and emotions to the authority of Christ)
Our Thoughts –
- According to Matthew 15:19, sin begins in the heart and mind (our thoughts). For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander.
- Separation from God and His power can easily come from strongholds in our thinking which leads us into sin. What you think is a huge part of what you are!
- Proverbs 23:7 states, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.”
Do you know the Lord?
Does the Lord God know you?
You can and will know that you are saved…it is a life changing experience, forever.
1 John 5:13 (NLT) I have written this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know you have eternal life. Yes, you will know you have eternal life as a believer!
Do you take time daily to build that relationship with Him?
- John 17:3 (NLT) And this is the way to have eternal life—to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth.
- Romans 8:16 (NLT) For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children.
- Matthew 7:22 – 23 (NLT) On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’
- Is your mind filled with thoughts of Christ or consumed with earthly issues?
- Are you entertaining thoughts which is not Christ like?
- Do you have a sense that God is speaking to you?
2 Corinthians 10:5 (NLT) We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ. Yes, fill your mind and thoughts with serving Jesus Christ.
Make the choice daily to place God’s Word in your heart. Again let me quote Romans 12:2 (NLT); Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
- Do you watch programs or movies that stimulate improper thoughts and feelings?
- Do you have wandering eyes?
If you sense God’s conviction, confess those specific areas of your thoughts and decide to change your pattern of thinking.
May this letter help bring us into a brand new mind! Take every thought into captivity by asking God for forgiveness, turn from every form of sin, and trust Him to renew your mind.
- Matthew 22:37 (NLT) Jesus replied, “‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ If you really love God you will fill your mind with those things of God and serve God.
- Colossians 3:1 – 3 (NLT)Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God.
What are your priorities? Write down specific ways you need to set your mind on God. Ask God to help you change your affections and mind.
Psalms 1:2 (NLT) But they delight in the law of the LORD, meditating on it day and night.
Psalms 119:15 – 16 (NLT) I will study your commandments and reflect on your ways. I will delight in your decrees and not forget your word.
John 15:7 (NLT) But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted!
Are you committed to Gods’ Word? Be committed to reading/studying Gods’ Word daily.
Make that choice daily to hide (place) Gods’ Word in your heart.
Are you committed to Godly ways? Are you committed to God’s will?
- James 4:3 (NLT)And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure.
- Matthew 15:8 – 9 (NLT)‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship is a farce, for they teach man-made ideas as commands from God.’”
- Romans 5:5 (NLT) And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.
God is displeased with insincere worship and empty ritual. True worship is to bow down in genuine reverence and surrender, before God. We cannot compromise and still believe and expect God, to honor our prayers and receive our worship.
As stated in Hebrews 10; 29, Habitual sin is equal to “…those who have trampled on the Son of God, and have treated the blood of the covenant, which made us holy, as if it were common and unholy, and have insulted and disdained the Holy Spirit who brings God’s mercy to us.”
God is Holy and must be approached with a reverent and holy heart!
- Amos 5:21 – 24 (NLT) “I hate all your show and pretense— the hypocrisy of your religious festivals and solemn assemblies. I will not accept your burnt offerings and grain offerings. I won’t even notice all your choice peace offerings. Away with your noisy hymns of praise! I will not listen to the music of your harps. Instead, I want to see a mighty flood of justice, an endless river of righteous living.
- Hebrews 12:14 (NLT)Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord.
- 1 John 3:3 (NLT)And all who have this eager expectation will keep themselves pure, just as he is pure.
We as born-again, Christians, are to be in pursuit of holiness. Pursuit of holiness is actually daily setting your mind and thoughts passionately on God and His Word.
Another thing that will hinder the move of God’s Power in our daily life is our “attitude” toward God and man. Everyone has an attitude (or spirit) about them. God not only looks at our outward actions but He watches the very attitude/motive behind them.
Your Attitudes – God looks at the “attitudes” of the heart. What are some of these attitudes that God sees within the heart of man?
- Revelation 3:15 – 16 (NLT) I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth!
God hates an “attitude” of lukewarmness. A form of pride that Christians so many times overlook is that of an attitude of spiritual complacency that sees little need for cleansing and growth in one’s own life.
Are you passionate for Christ? Do you have an attitude that burns within for the things of God? Allow God to deeply search your heart and repent from ungodly attitudes.
Ask, and “He will give you a brand new heart.”
- 1 Peter 5:5 (NLT) …“God opposes the proud but favors the humble.”
- Psalms 51:17 (NLT) The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.
- 2 Chronicles 7:14 (NLT) Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.
- Ezekiel 36:26 (NLT) And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart.
- Philippians 2:3 – 4 (NLT) Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.
God hates an attitude of self-righteousness; all forms of arrogance and self-exaltation.
- Proverbs 8:13 (NLT) All who fear the LORD will hate evil. Therefore, I hate pride and arrogance, corruption and perverse speech.
- James 2:1, 4 (NLT) (1) My dear brothers and sisters, how can you claim to have faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ if you favor some people over others? (4) doesn’t this discrimination show that your judgments are guided by evil motives?
An attitude of unbelief causes many believers to live in weakness and defeat. Hebrews 11:6 (NLT) And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.
God expects us to exercise our faith by applying God’s Word, “ask, seek and knock” …reach out to God and the door will open!
Matthew 13:58 (NLT) And so he did only a few miracles there because of their unbelief.
- Are you often filled with more doubt than faith?
- Do you tend to worry rather than trust God and rest in His promises?
- Have you let disappointments weaken your faith and prayer life?
Always remember, God can and will give you true faith and a supernatural peace…don’t settle for less! The born-again believer will be marked with a kind and loving spirit. The carnal spirit has a critical and angry attitude.
- Ephesians 4:2 (NLT) Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.
- 1 Corinthians 13:4, 7 (NLT) (4)Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud… (7)Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
- Matthew 5:44 (NLT) But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!
An attitude of love is a forgiving attitude. A forgiving attitude is a mark of one that is right with God.
- Do you give loved ones the “silent treatment”?
- Have you determined to love family and friends with the love of Christ, unconditionally?
Another attitude is that of materialism and worldliness.
- 1 Timothy 6:6 (NLT) Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth.
- Do you covet the symbols of worldly status and wealth?
- Does your financial history, reflect biblical principles of low debt and modest living?
- 1 John 2:15 – 17 (NLT) Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.
- Hebrews 13:5 (NLT) Don’t love money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.”
- Are you truly praying about your financial decisions?
- Is Jesus Christ fully in control of your desires and financial decisions?
- Are you giving God His part?
As we set our mind and heart on things above our attitude toward God and man begins to change. It should be my desire, as Paul stated “that I may know Him.”
- Philippians 3:8-14 (NLT) Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith. I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead! I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.
- Do you have an attitude of being made anew every day; a fresh “touch” in your heart.
- Do you long to know Him?
- Do you long to be found in Him with an attitude of worship and praise?
Yes, He can and will satisfy that longing in you!
Are you found in Him…a place of seclusion, of rest and faith in Jesus Christ?
Desire to be-filled with the Holy Ghost (Holy Spirit)…a place of unlimited love, an illumination of His Spirit and the endurance in that revelation, to bring us into like-mindedness of thought and attitude toward God and man. Gods’ will for mankind, a mature Christian.
Love in Christ Jesus,