Where are your thoughts this morning? As disciples of Jesus, where should our thoughts be? The Message translates Colossians 3:1-2, this way:
“So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective..” (Colossians 3:1-2)
We are to seek those things—set our affections—have our thoughts on things above. But that is something you have to choose to do. It doesn’t “just happen.” We have the freedom of choice.
There are some specific things in the Word we should concentrate our thinking on. For instance, we should focus on the goodness of Yehoveh and all His son, Jesus Christ accomplished for us. Quite simply, if we don’t keep our thoughts on the things of our Father, it is easy to slip back into the negative thinking patterns of the world around us. Krystal Kuehn wrote an interesting article about Staying Positive in a Negative World. We have to think something, so why not let our thoughts be of God?
In Psalm 77 Asaph, the psalmist, was letting his mind ramble on negative things and he was miserable. Then he brought his mind back to Yahweh and remembered all the wonders He had done, and suddenly Asaph changed his attitude. We follow similar patterns sometimes. We look within ourselves and get miserable. Then we remember to look to Yehoveh and bring the joy back into our lives.
This same Psalmist said in Psalm 73 verse 2, “But as for me, I almost lost my footing. My feet were slipping, and I was almost gone.” Verses 14-16, “I get nothing but trouble all day long; every morning brings me pain. If I had really spoken this way to others I would have been a traitor to your people. So I tried to understand why the wicked prosper. But what a difficult task it is!” Asaph was a pretty miserable fellow.
Then look at verse 17, “Then I went into your sanctuary, O God, and I finally understood the destiny of my enemies.” He finally saw the error of his ways and came back to God. Psalm 73 ends in verse 28 with Asaph saying, “But as for me, how good it is to be near God! I have made the Sovereign Lord my shelter, and I will tell everyone about the wonderful things you do.” Oh how delightful that is. It is my favorite topic. Why do I send these messages to you? Because my thoughts, my affections, my greatest desire, just like the Psalmist, is tell everyone about the wonderful things of Yehoveh. He is my joy and delight. I enjoy where I work, I love my wife and each of my children, but me delight is in the Lord.
Search the Word for what God has done for you through Jesus Christ. Remember our rights as His children, and choose to think on those things. It’s our choice.
Confess 2nd Corinthians 10:5: “I use God’s power and destroy fortresses in my mind. I destroy the mental arguments in my thoughts and every bit of pride that keeps me from knowing God. I capture my thoughts and make them obey Christ.” Bring every thought captive! It’s our responsibility to control our thinking.
Psalms 34 is a Psalm of David — a Psalm of praise. Verse 1 says, “I will extol the LORD at all times; his praise will always be on my lips.” Verses 4 and 5 say, “I asked the Lord for help, and He delivered me from all my fears” [Wait. All your fears? How about your fear of failure? Or fear of death? Or your fear of loneliness?—Yep! He will deliver you from those fears and more!] Verse 5 continues with: “Keep your eyes on the LORD! You will shine like the sun and never blush with shame.” Do you understand what he just said? All of us have things from our past that we are ashamed of. Well, not any more! You have been Redeemed and whatever you were ashamed of is completely washed away. You have nothing to be ashamed of or any regrets to pull you down.
In Hebrews 12:1-2 we find more guidance to look to Jesus. A more literal translation of these verses is, “looking away from all else to Jesus.” We don’t look within ourselves or around us. We concentrate our thoughts on what God did for us in Christ Jesus. We just grab our minds and keep our thoughts on God and His Word. As we set our affections and our thoughts on things above—the many promises of God’s Word are there to bring us joy and peace.
Today, try to look away from everything else and to the One who loves us and wants His very best for us. Celebrate the day!
Father, you are my delight and my joy. Like the Psalmist I shout, “As for me, I will continue beholding Your face in my ability to stand with You; I am fully satisfied in You, when I awake I find myself beholding Your form and having sweet communion with You (Psalm 17:15).
Whoa! Wait. Do your realize what you just prayed? You just admitted that your need for Yehoveh is so deep, your delight is so great, your need for Him is so overpowering, that you don’t just jump out of bed in the morning and start on your own plans and ambitions and wait until the end of day to say anything to God. You just admitted that you are so desperate for Him that you start talking to Him and fellowshipping with Him when you first open your eyes in the morning—before you take your first yawn—your thoughts are on Him! I hope that is indeed your confession and prayer.
Keep that rolling in your noggin today
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