Sunday, February 23, 2014

What Do You Think?

Thoughts are very important. The following well-known quote makes this point very well:

Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become your character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.
What we think, we become.

There is a direct connection between our words and our destiny.  Throughout the Word of God, we find instructions regarding our thought life.  Invariably, when we are experiencing a lack of peace, it is because we have been focusing our attention on negativity.  Philippians 4:8 gives us the recipe for maintaining a peaceful thought life, “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.” No matter what is going on in our lives, there is no productivity in dwelling on it and allowing our spirits to become heavy and distracted.  Isaiah 26:3 tells us that God will keep us in perfect peace as our minds are stayed on Him, not our problems. Instead of continually thinking on our problems, we must follow the instructions in Philippians 4:8 and use that as a filter for every thought that comes to our mind.

Proverbs 23:7 tells us that as we think in our heart, so are we.  That is confirmation that our thoughts really do impact our destiny.  What is important to realize is that we have authority over our thoughts.  Just because thoughts come doesn’t mean we have to entertain them or act upon them.  2 Corinthians 10:5 states, “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” (KJV)  We do this by speaking the Word of God.  When thoughts enter our mind that do not line up with the will of God, we speak the Word in response.  I love the example that I have heard used to illustrate this point.  The speaker tells the audience to start counting to 10 or some other number in their head.  At some point he tells them to speak their name out loud.  He then shows them that their thoughts had to stop once their mouth spoke.  In the same manner, we interrupt negative thoughts by speaking the Word.  There have been times when the assault against my mind has been so severe that I have stopped whatever I was doing and said out loud, “Shut up Satan, those are not my thoughts!”  Then I would speak words that countered the negative thoughts. We have to do whatever it takes to keep our thoughts in line with the Word of God.

What thoughts have you been thinking that have brought on stress, worry, insecurity, etc., in your life? Maybe you felt heaviness in your spirit and you didn't know why.  Check the thought traffic that has been allowed to roam freely in your head.  The more we dwell on wrong thoughts, the greater the likelihood that we will speak negatively and put those thoughts into action.  Take a thought assessment this week. Make a commitment to watch what you think and focus on changing any unhealthy thought patterns.  All it takes is a quality decision.  Change your thoughts…change your life!

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