Controlling Our Thoughts

Can We Control Our Thoughts

Will they control us or will we control them?

Do you ever get a song in your head that you cannot seem to shake? I remember a little ditty from a TV show my kids watched when they were really small – Lamb Chop’s Play Along. The song is “This is the Song That Never Ends” and it really does not end! Madness!

Is it stuck in your head now? Mine too.

Thoughts get stuck in our heads too, don’t they? Like a video loop, replaying the same scenario over and over. Something you are fearful of, worried about, angry about, tempted with, etc. They can consume your thinking and minutes turn into hours, then hours into days. That loop can play on indefinitely and drive you nuts! Or drive you to sin! Or drive you to depression!

Our Passage Today:

2 Corinthians 10:5

“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.”

Holding on for Dear Life

There was a time in my life when I held onto this verse for dear life. We do not have to be tormented by fear, worry, temptation or any other thought. These are from the enemy or from our own sinful flesh. We do not have to let these thoughts run wild in our heads and dominate our lives.

A Note About Temptation

Many times a sinful thought will flash through your mind and it will captivate you. You may be shocked by the thought and shocked that you, as a Christian, are capable of thinking such things. Do not let it captivate you – do not let it take you captive!!! The first thought often is not yours, but a temptation – a snare laid by the enemy to draw you into sin. It is when we entertain the thought that it becomes sin. Obviously, the enemy knows our weaknesses and he will attempt to shock us into captivation.

Therefore, we must learn to stay on guard and prepared. We must immediately combat these tempting thoughts by replacing them. Immediately, strike back with God’s Word! God gave you and me His Word, the Sword of the Spirit. It is the weapon of offense so we need to learn to use it effectively.

My Cares Jar

At a very tough time in my life, I started using a “Cares Jar.” I would write the “care”/worry on a 3×5 index card, on the other side of the card, I would write a scripture that combatted the worry.

Example:

Front:  I am worried about my son moving away.

Back:  Psalm 127:4-6

“Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth.
Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them!
He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.”

The man’s quiver holds his arrows and the purpose of an arrow is to be sent out. It never fulfills its purpose if it stays in the quiver. Our children are to be sent out to glorify God and fulfill His purpose for their lives. So knowing that this was the grand plan for Jonathan, I was able to once more, release him to God and pray that God’s perfect will go forth in his life.

Let’s go to the verse:

“We demolish arguments and every pretension… “

So this is saying that we aggressively wipe out every argument and lie…

“…that sets itself up against the knowledge of God… “

Last week, we talked a lot about the knowledge of God – not His knowledge but our knowledge about Him in 2 Peter 1. When thoughts are set up against the knowledge of God we need to deal with them aggressively. We need to wipe them out, not play around with them or ignore them – demolish them! If we allow the kind of thoughts that undermine our faith and our confidence in who God is (fear, lust, hopelessness, anger, etc.), they will begin to systematically and rapidly destroy us. They will take us captive. This does not mean they can take us away from God but they can keep us from glorifying Him.

“…and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

Controlling our thinking is a decided act that we decide to perform. It will not just happen. We have to decide to do it and then just do it!

In Conclusion

We must allow God to change our thinking to that of the mind of Christ. We must replace(change) certain thoughts  – sometimes this takes a lot of decided effort on our part as God shows us what we need to change. A bad habit is hard to change. However, He will give you the strength to change what He reveals according to His Word that needs changing. Use the Sword of the Spirit to fight for your life – to live according to the will of God.

Let’s Go To the Lord in Prayer

Lord, I thank You so much for Your Word. I thank You for loving us and for helping us to grow in our knowledge of You. Please, help us to learn to control our thinking. Also, help us to learn to use the Sword of the Spirit very well. Help us to develop the skill of a master swordsman quickly and help us to continue to grow our skill as You grow our faith. I ask that You be glorified in us and help us to know You better and better every day. In Jesus name, I pray. Amen.

Go Deeper Today:

   Matthew 4:1-11

 

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