Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Your Thought Life

Our thought life before we were born again and after being born again should be different like night and day. The fact remains that we all struggle with our thought life. Romans 8:7 tells us, “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.” It says here that your mind is at war against God. Your flesh doesn’t want to do certain things at times. Especially regarding spiritual matters. There are a lot of spiritual things that can be tough on your flesh.

Appetites are developed in life. Habits are developed. Desires are developed. Your thought life is developed as well. You feed all those things too. I’m not crazy about broccoli, but when you put cheese on it, it is a little easier to eat. That’s a developed appetite. There are all kinds of wrong thoughts and “habitual thinking” which can create wrong processes in your life. When I say “habitual thinking”, I am talking about the way you have been programmed either through the way you were brought up or through your own consistent way of thinking. Much of who we are and how we act is a reflection of how we grew up. How we think is a reflection of our feelings and experiences in life. It is always good to ask yourself at times, “What are the most dominant thoughts in my mind and heart right now?”

We should take an inventory of what is going on in our thought life. What are you allowing yourself to dwell on? If you dwell on “Twinkies” you’ll go get one or a Little Debbie snack! We only resist what we want to resist. It’s one thing to think on it, but it’s another thing to yield to it. Can you see the seeds that have been sown in your thought life over time? Everything in your life begins as a thought. What you allow yourself to dwell on can change your destiny.

Thoughts that are dwelt on and pondered will eventually lead to actions. You don’t just wake up one day and find your life in shambles. All those things started as a thought that was planted into your mind and you let it take root and grow. It is in our mind that the battlefield rages. Most of the hardest battles that we face in life are faced in our minds. The battleground is truly between our ears!

Have you ever had weeds in your yard? Weeds can really be a problem if you let them go unchecked. If you don’t take care of your yard, those weeds will creep in and multiply until they take over and choke out your good grass. What do you do with weeds? Well, you use certain products that you can spray or sprinkle on your grass that will defend against weed “attacks”. Your mind can have “weeds” that creep in. You resist them at first and they go away. But over time, if you dwell on them, they will multiply.

What do you do? Well, going to church and having a daily devotional and Bible study plan, and having godly relationships can be like getting your mind “sprayed” with the Word of God. That can make a big difference. What you are doing or not doing can make a difference as well. Just like you would spray for weeds in your yard, you need to keep your mind sprayed too. The more you spray, the more you will find that those “weeds” in your thought life will start coming down one, two, three, four and they are NO MORE! You will find yourself coming to a point where it is a rare thing to struggle with those “weeds” in your mind. It will be rare that those wrong thoughts come up. When they do surface, they will be much easier to deal with because you keep them sprayed. Remember, weeds will grow and multiply if you leave them alone and don’t deal with them.

You can keep the doubt out by allowing the “abundance of the heart”, God on the inside of you, to be the “playmaker” of your life. One preacher once said, “It’s a whole lot easier to pull up a weed than to cut down a tree.” Deal with yourself and your thought life. Keep yourself and your flesh sprayed with the Word of God.

It is so vital that we be very selective about what we plant in our soul (which, of course, is our mind, our will, and our emotions). Philippians 4:8-9 tells us, “Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious - the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.” (The Message Translation) Think right and your harvest in your personal life will be joy, health, long life, prosperity, peace of mind, and stability.

What do I do to insure my stability in the walk of life? The Bible tells us in Psalm 103:1-5, “Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits; Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, Who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”

You know, we have so very much for which to be thankful! I like another really good word, “grateful”. The word grateful, in the Webster’s Dictionary, means: appreciative of benefits received, expressing gratitude: affording pleasure or contentment: pleasing; pleasing by reason of comfort supplied or discomfort alleviated. Wow! Psalm 103:1 says, “Bless the Lord, O my soul.” Your soul is your mind, will, and emotions. There are many times in life that you need to just tell yourself to bless the Lord! Thank Him! Praise Him! Your mind will say a lot of things that will not remind you of God’s goodness in your life. Verses 2-5 tell us of His goodness and that we should “forget NOT”! Amen! Again, you have so much to be grateful for! Sometimes you just need to tell yourself so that you always “KEEP” your joy and peace in any circumstance or situation. Be grateful!

Here are a few things to “Think On”!

• Get the right “Spray” on your “Weeds” (Your thoughts).

Get into the Word of God. Hang out with God. Stay there! Read and meditate and be a doer of the Word. There are many bystanders in life, but participators get results. Be a doer of the Word. Spray your mind by being a worshiper. Spend time worshipping Jesus apart from church, apart from anything else. You worship Him and make it intimate by fellowshipping with God one on one. Fill yourself with Him. Spray your mind with the Word. Renew your thinking according to Romans 12:1-2. Get the right “spray”.

• Direct your affections.

Lot set his tent toward Sodom and Gomorrah. He set it toward that direction and he wound up there! Colossians 3:2 says, “Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. “ You direct what you dwell and think on. You direct what you have an affection or a craving for. You are the director of your life. You alone sit in the director’s chair. You call the shots. You yield to and do what YOU WANT. It’s time to DIRECT your affections.

1 John 2:15-17 from The MessageTranslation reads, “Don't love the world's ways. Don't love the world's goods. Love of the world squeezes out love for the Father.”

Practically everything that goes on in the world - wanting your own way, wanting everything for yourself, wanting to appear important - has nothing to do with the Father. It just isolates you from Him. Direct your affections!

• Ask God To Help You.

We have a responsibility to do that which we know is right. But there are many times in life where we need help. John 15:4-8 out of The Message Translation reads, "Live in me. Make your home in me just as I do in you. In the same way that a branch can't bear grapes by itself but only by being joined to the vine, you can't bear fruit unless you are joined with me. "I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you're joined with me and I with you, the relationship is intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can't produce a thing. Anyone who separates from me is deadwood, gathered up and thrown on the bonfire. But if you make yourselves at home with me and my words are at home in you, you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon. This is how my Father shows who he is - when you produce grapes, when you mature as my disciples.”

When you need help, run home to the Lord. Hook up and let Him help you to grow. Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me.” You cannot do it all yourself, you need His grace and strength to move upward and onward in Him.

God wants you to walk a life of joy and victory every day. God wants you to walk in His peace and in His joy. God wants you strong and stable because you are HIS NAMESAKE in this earth. Live for Him and consistently and habitually yield yourself to His Word and His way.

Prayer: Father, I thank You that I have the mind of Christ. I have Your wisdom. My mind is continually being renewed to think exactly like Jesus. Because I am diligent to Your Word, my thoughts tend only to plenteousness. Every thought that I have is brought into captivity to the obedience of Christ Jesus! Amen. (1 Cor 2:16, 1:30, Eph 4:23-24, Pro 21:5 & 2 Cor 10:3-5)