Be careful what you think, because your thoughts run your life. (Proverbs 4: 23, ICB)
Friend to Friend
When our kids were teenagers, we moved into a house with a huge back yard – which our children immediately proclaimed as the perfect spot for a trampoline. Since they had worked so hard helping us move, their reward was a used trampoline bought from a neighbor.
As we unpacked the trampoline, I also unpacked memories from my college years. One of my P.E. courses included six weeks of instruction on the trampoline. We couldn’t wait to get started! However, before anyone set foot on that trampoline, the professor spent several class periods going over the safety rules. How hard could it be? You get on the thing and jump! Not so, according to our teacher.
She persistently detailed each rule, especially the one about making sure you led your body with your head … or something like that … I really wasn’t listening. But I did listen when she began sharing every injury of every student in every class she had ever taught over the years – injuries that happened because students were impatient and ignored the rules.
The teacher ended the class by saying, “Good gymnasts know that where their head goes, the rest of their body will eventually follow.” To this day, every time I see a trampoline, those words pop into my mind. They are true when applied to the trampoline – and just as true when applied to temptation. Where our thoughts go, our lives will follow.
Be careful what you think, because your thoughts run your life (Proverbs 4: 23, ICB).
In the war with temptation, our greatest battlefield is the mind. We are constantly at war for its control. Everything we do or say originates with a single thought. Filling our minds with truth fills our lives with truth.
The prophet 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” 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 to be married to the truth of God. Wow! Now that is a commitment.
If our mind is not filled with truth, the enemy will pollute it with lies. Polluted minds produce polluted lives. God’s Word is a powerful purification system for the mind, reprogramming and training thoughts to line up according to God’s standards.
Depositing God’s word into the mind results in a pure and holy discernment as well as a God-given strength 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. 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 parable 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 great and powerful wings,” he boasted. Suddenly the edge of the falls was only a few feet away. The eagle spread his massive wings to mount up over the impending doom. But it was too late. His claws were frozen to the cake of ice.
Sin is like that.
When we allow our minds to “perch” on sinful thought patterns, we entertain destruction. Our arrogance blinds us to the consequences of sinful behavior and we soon find ourselves on the brink of disaster, wondering how we got there. How many people are destroyed by a habit that began with one sinful thought?
As believers, we should have thought lives worth recommending to others. How’s that for a haunting thought? Join me in a new commitment to take charge of our thought lives instead of allowing our thought lives to take charge of us.
Lord, I confess to You that my thoughts are not pure. I have allowed the world and outside influences to pollute my mind that should be set on You. Right now, I choose against my old ways of thinking and invite the Holy Spirit to stand guard over my mind. I commit to fill my heart and mind with Your truth.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
Spend some time alone with God and come up with some rules for your thought life. Write them in an acrostic like the one below. Record them in your journal.
More from the Girlfriends
Keeping our thoughts firmly fixed on Jesus and His Word is a constant battle. I know! It can rattle your faith! But in Mary’s MP3, Four Steps to an Unshakeable Faith, you will discover four steps we can take to experience unshakable faith.
AND be sure to check out the FREE MP3s on Mary’s website and connect with Mary through email (firstname.lastname@example.org), her blog, her website (email@example.com), or on Facebook.
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