Be careful what you think, because your thoughts run your life.
Proverbs 4: 23
Friend to Friend
I fly a lot. Before every flight, I have to go through several security measures. I am required to show my driver’s license and boarding pass to dozens of security personnel. My bags are rammed through an x-ray machine while I walk through a body scanner that does who knows what to my body. I have to answer the same set of questions about the contents of every bag. If you fly at all, you know the drill. “Are these your bags? Have they been in your possession at all times? Has anyone given you anything to carry on the plane? Please jump through this fiery hoop, prepare for a strip search and roll up your sleeve. We need a blood sample.” Well, I may have added a question or two, but it seems like a ridiculous and totally unnecessary ordeal … until I stop and remember that it is a life-saving process for my good and the safety of every person on every plane.
We should have the same attitude about our thought life.
In 2 Corinthians 10:5 (ICB), Paul instructs us to “capture every thought and make it give up and obey Christ.” Capturing thoughts is a powerful tactic of spiritual warfare.
The Word of God is the filter through which every thought should pass. We cannot learn to love the Word of God if we don’t esteem, read, memorize and apply God’s word – and that takes discipline.
In the war with temptation and sin, our greatest battlefield is the mind. We are constantly at war for its control. To live right, must think right. Everything we do or say originates with a single thought.
Isaiah teaches, “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in You, whose thoughts are fixed on You” (Isaiah 26:3, NLT). In this verse, “fixed” literally means “loyal or faithful” and refers to the same kind of faithfulness found in marriage. In other words, to discipline and guard our thoughts, we must make the commitment of being married to the truth of God.
If the mind is not filled with truth, the enemy will pollute it with lies, tilling fertile soil where temptation and sin can flourish.
Polluted minds produce polluted lives, but mind pollution can only happen with our permission.
God’s word is a powerful purification system for the mind, training thoughts to line up according to God’s standards. Depositing God’s word into the mind results in a holy discernment to recognize and turn away from sin. It’s the idea of placing a sentry or guard at the entrance of the mind, giving him the authority to determine what does or does not come in.
We are quick to give the custody of our mind away to lesser things. If it is going on in the mind, it is reality and often the first step toward the edge of a very dangerous cliff.
The story is told of an eagle perched on a block of ice just above Niagara Falls. As the swift current carried the ice and the great eagle closer to the edge of the falls, the eagle ignored the warning cries of other birds and animals. “I have powerful wings,” he boasted. “I can fly from my perch at any time. I can handle it.” Suddenly the edge of the falls was only a few feet away, the torrent of water carrying the block of ice over the powerful cascade. The eagle spread his massive wings to mount up over the impending doom only to discover that it was too late. His claws were frozen to the cake of ice.
Sin is like that. When we allow our minds to dwell on sinful thought patterns, we entertain destruction. Our arrogance blinds us to the consequences of sinful behavior. Soon we find ourselves on the brink of disaster, wondering how we got there.
Temptation first targets the mind. We can change our lives by changing the way we
think. Surrender your mind to God, asking Him to cleanse and purify every part. Then
guard each thought as if your life depended on it. It does.
Lord, I confess to You that I often struggle with the way I think. I desperately need Your help. Please make me aware of the influences that draw my mind away from You and show me how to avoid each one. Teach me how to fix my thoughts on You and give me a hunger and thirst for Your Word. Today, I surrender the control of my mind to You, Father.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
The mind is the control center of your life. How have your thoughts affected your decisions or actions this week? I challenge you to fill your mind with God’s Word and watch God work in your life. Read the following questions and record your answers in your journal.
What specific steps do I need to take in order to put more of God’s word into my mind?
To honor God with my thought life, what changes do I need to make in the following areas?
More from the Girlfriends
Temptation is a certainty of life, but God has a plan that enables us to stand firm. Mary’s four-week Bible Study, Winning the War With Temptation, examines the life of Eve and explores five steps we can take to win the war with temptation.