Give Your Thoughts Over to God
I have the habit of thinking about whatever happens to fall into my mind. And some of the things that fall into my mind are lies and wrong thoughts that mess me up. I need to make some changes! In Scripture we are told that our thoughts matter and we are to tear down the lies and the thoughts that are not of faith and to make our thoughts obedient to Christ. The Bible says: “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God. And we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:5)
Our thoughts and ideas are the stuff of life and survival. God gave us minds to analyze and think through ideas and concepts. He gave us His Word and the Church to filter these ideas through. And God gives us the Holy Spirit to live in our hearts and be our teacher and guide. Many of the popular ideas out there in our world set themselves up against the knowledge of God! Because of this, we who confess Christ ought to carefully examine the thoughts and the assumptions behind the latest ideas in fashion before we start believing them and passing them on.
The late Ayn Rand was a writer whose opinions have influenced many Christian groups today. Ayn Rand was an atheist who hated Christianity. She wrote popular books that sold millions of copies. Ayn Rand believed that in every society some of the people are the important “creator” types – the wealthy, the movers and shakers, the high society. But then she believed that most of the people in society are second class citizens and not worth much..She called these ordinary people, - the ones who aren’t rich or famous - the “parasites,” “looters,” and “moochers.”
In her book, “We the Living” she writes: “What are your masses (people)…but mud to be ground underfoot, fuel to be burned for those who deserve it?” The Bible teaches that followers of Christ are “not to be respecters of persons” (Acts 10:34) And that God calls us to love and treat all persons with respect. Scripture teaches that every human being is made in the image of God and that every life is sacred.
In the “Journals of Ayn Rand”, she write: “No man exists for the sake of another man …It is one of my main cornerstones- perhaps the basic axiom” p.266) This author spoke out against helping those in need. Of course Jesus calls us to help those in need. (Gal. 6:7-10) Jesus gave his life for us and we are to pick up our cross and follow Him. This author’s teachings are opposite from Biblical teachings and yet millions of Christians are influenced by her writings! I believe that we should take the warnings of Scripture that say: “Demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God.” (2 Cor. 10:5a)
There are many other writers, pastors, politicians and media anchormen and women who also pass their thoughts and opinions on to us every day. We are to test new thoughts and attitudes against Scripture and view all of our thoughts and feelings through the lens of God’s Word. Most of us run our e-mail through a spam filter to get rid of junk and malware: and we ought to do the same with our thoughts and ideas. Thoughts are powerful! Scripture says: “whatever is not of faith is sin.”(Romans 14:23)
God calls us to give our thought life to Him. All of our thoughts are not intellectual thoughts. Some are faith filled thoughts and some are loving thoughts. We are to believe and trust in Him. And we are to love God with all our heart and to love one another as we love ourselves.(Luke 10:27) As Christians we are called to live loving lives of service.
But when people harm or betray us or our loved ones, we have angry hate filled thoughts. Life is full of injustices and we wouldn’t be human if we didn’t get angry about them. We are to right the wrongs that come our way if we can, then forgive and keep forgiving when our hateful thoughts return, and pray and give God what we can’t fix and trust Him to deal with it. We are commanded by God not to hold onto our hate. God will deal with our impossible problems because He promises to answer our prayers.
The story goes that a father tells his little son that there are two wolves in every human heart. One wolf is made up of “love” and the other wolf is made up of “hate”. The two wolves fight with one another back and forth inside the human soul. Each wolf trying to influence the thoughts and take over the life of their human. “Father, tell me,” asks the little son, “Which wolf will win?” “Ah, my son,” answers the father, “the wolf that the human feeds, that is the one that will win.”
And this is so true. We need to “feed” the love we find in our hearts so that it will grow. We can be kind to one another and take care of each other’s needs. Trust God to take care of our problems. Be there for one another. Forgive one another and extend goodwill. Pray for the other, especially those we have trouble loving. Give to the poor and needy. Turn the other cheek. Soon our life will be overflowing with love!
And if we choose to “feed” the anger and hate that we feel, we can do that by holding onto hate and refusing to let it go – not forgiving. Criticizing and gossiping and insulting others. Making fun of others. Using other people to satisfy our own needs. Ignoring God’s Word. Refusing to extend goodwill. Joining “hate” groups. Negative thinking produces a negative life. It’s our choice whether we “feed” the love we have in our hearts or the hate! But which one we “feed” will make all the difference in what kind of a life we live.
God calls us to believe in Him and have faith. Reasons for our belief and faith are important and we need to struggle with these and God will help us with our doubts if we ask. The Bible says that faith comes by hearing the Word. (Romans 10:17) So we can build up our faith by studying and meditating on the Word of God. God is greater than our difficulties and believing in Him can cause us to win any battle we face. We can choose to see the power available to us through God when we trust Him more than our circumstances. Nothing is impossible for us with God!
Scripture says that we are to “fix our minds” on good things. Here is the passage: “Whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just and whatever is pure, whatever is lonely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, think on those things.” (Philippians 4:8) We can choose our own thoughts on purpose. Bad thoughts and habits can be broken and replaced with good ones. When we think about good things, there is less room for those bad thoughts to get into our minds. Scripture says, “Be not overcome with evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:21)
Scripture says: “Blessed is the person who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, or stand in the way of sinners, or sit in the seat of the mockers. But his/her delight is in the law of the Lord. And in His Law he/she meditates day and night.” (Psalm 1:1-2) This says that the person who meditates on God’s Word is blessed!
All of the people in the Bible who were close to God had the habit of meditating on God’s Word. To meditate means to think over and over about what the Word is saying to us. To let the Word seep into our being and change us. It may not be easy, but it will be worth the effort to spend time every day in God’s Word. There is power in God’s Word and if we meditate on the Word it will help produce a life worth living.
God promises to be with us throughout our life – and death too! (Psalm 23) And God promises that anything in His will that we ask for in prayer He will do! We have so much to be thankful for! God is offering each of us the gift of a good life, but we have to do our part in taking this gift.
Some of the ideas in this blog are taken from Joyce Meyer’s book, “Power Thoughts”.