Taking control of your thoughts:
Key passage: Colossians 3:1-8, 16 Supportive Scriptures: Psalms 119: 9;11, Proverbs 23:7, 2 Corinthians 4:3-4; 6:17;11:3
The mind is the control tower of life.
What we think not only directs what we do but also determine who we are (Proverbs 23:7). Our thoughts affect our perception of other people, God, our situation, and ourselves. They determine the direction of our lives, the quality of our relationship, and even our accomplishments, or failures. Although we can’t control people or all our circumstances, we can choose what to think about them, which in term directs how we respond, with so much at stake. It’s important that we guard what comes into our minds because everything we see, hear, and feel programs our thoughts. Our goal as believers is to understand God’s Word so His thoughts can fill our minds, enabling us to live in a fashion that is pleasing and honoring to Him.
Colossians 3:1-8 advise us to set our minds on things above and remember that through salvation we have died to our old ways of life. When Jesus comes into our life, he changed us. We can’t simply add Him to our former lifestyle and keep living as we did in the past. It’s time to put away the things that no longer fit our new identity in Christ-and this includes our old thought pattern.
The pathway to controlling our thoughts begins with an understanding of our relationship two Jesus Christ.
When we when we were saved a change took place-we were raised up with Christ (Colossians 3:1). We now have a new position in him, and God desires that we also have a new way of thinking and responding to situation and people in our lives. Experience and feelings can produce inaccurate thoughts about ourselves. For instance, we could think we’re ugly, when in reality we are beautiful. Although these faulty perceptions may start very early in life, God wants to give us a new way of thinking which is based on reality.
There are challenges to controlling our thoughts.
Salvation changes our lives and eternal destiny, but it doesn’t instantly alter how we think.
Our environment is still the same.
In fact, sometimes our situation gets worse, yet we are called to live a righteous life in an ungodly society. To accomplish this, we must learn how to think right.
Satan blinds the mind of the unbelievers.
The gospel is veiled to those who are perishing because their minds are blinded by the god of this world. (2 Corinthians 4:3-4).
Satan deceive believers.
His battlefield is our minds, and his plan is to lead us astray from devotion to Christ, (2 Corinthians 11:3). He brings up old memories of old hurts, and mistreatment so we will dwell on them and experience the suffering again. The only way to protect ourselves from this deception is to fill our minds with God’s Word.
Willful disobedient results in a reprobate mind.
If we think about a sin and deliberately give ourselves over to it, we can suffer the consequences for many years. Even if we later forsake our sin and return to God, the memories may hunt us until we allow Jesus to deliver us from them.
We have the Holy Spirit to help us think right.
We never have to be defeated by our old ways because God has given us His Spirit to empower us to think differently. He helps us remember Scripture and replace old, recurring thoughts patterns with his truth
Unseen thoughts produce visible consequences.
Although no one else knows our thoughts, they are eventually revealed in our face, our action, and ultimately in our destinies.
We sow a thought and reap an action.
We sow an action and reap a habit.
We sow a habit and reap a character.
We sow a character and reap a destiny.
When they stop comes into our minds, we have several options regarding what to do with it.
Accept the thought and express it in some manner.
Wrestle with it for a while.
One of the ways to evaluate thought is by asking ourself impacting questions.
Where does this thought come from?
Where will these thoughts lead me?
Will these thoughts get me where I want to go?
Are these thoughts spiritually acceptable?
Will these thoughts build me up or tear me down?
Can I share these thoughts with someone else?
Where did these thoughts originate?
Do these thoughts make me feel guilty?
Do these thoughts show me as a follower of Jesus?
Worldly thinking always lead to sin.
History has proven what happened to a society when people are drawn away by ungodly thoughts.
The progress is always toward immortality and sensuality.
Whenever a country or emperor heads down this path destruction is sure to follow.
Right thinking requires an understanding of the difference between love and lust.
Love is from God lust is from the world.
Love can wait lust has to have it now.
Love is selfless lust is selfish.
Love is giving lust is taken.
Love is purity lust is sin.
Love develops less destroys.
Love is peaceful lust is full of anxiety.
We must choose to obey the command of Christ.
This is the only way to make sure we are thinking as God decides.
Keep seeking the things above Colossians 3:1. The verb tense in this verse signify continue action. God’s Word must be a habitual part of our diet. What God thinks should be a large part of what we think.
Set your mind on the things above (v. 2). This too should be a habitual practice. We must focus on those things that are pleasing to the Father.
Remember that you have died to your old life (v. 3). Lust and evil desires should no longer control us. The Holy Spirit empowers us to resist temptations.
Consider the members of your earthly body as dead to sin. (v. 5). Count this as true in your mind. and let your actions follow and put sin to death.
Let the word of Christ richly dwell within (v.16) our mind should be so filled with Scripture that verses quickly come to mind in every situation. They overflow in our heart guarding our way and giving us wisdom and strength.
Think of a life event and how you responded. How did your thoughts influence your responses? If you didn’t react in a godly manner, can you discern what thoughts led you down that path? Did God’s Word come to mind to influence your behavior or words? Read psalms 119:9-11. How will God’s Word protect your mind? How can you treasure it in your heart?