Controlling Our Thoughts

Good morning. I will use my imagination for a moment and pretend you are just rolling out of bed. You yawn and stretch your arms and wipe the sleep from your eyes. But now, I want you to where are your thoughts are at this moment? Well, as disciples of Jesus, where do you think your thoughts should be? Well, Paul told the believers in Colossae where they should be:

“So if you are 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. No, no. 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)

See, we are to seek those things — set our affections — have our thoughts focused on things above. But that is something you have to choose to do. It doesn’t “just happen.”  We have the freedom to choose what we are going to focus our thoughts on.

There are some specific things in the Word we should concentrate our thinking on. For instance, we should focus on the goodness of Yahweh 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, the psalmist was letting his mind meander around on negative thoughts and, as a result, he was flat out, miserable. Finally, he got a hold of himself and brought his thoughts back to God and remembered all the wonders He had done, and suddenly his attitude was changed! But that is no different than us. Sometimes we all follow similar patterns. We look at ourselves, our failures, our weaknesses . . . and, feel miserable. But then, we regain our direction and suddenly remember to look to Yahweh and bring the joy back into our lives.

This same Psalmist said in Psalm 73 verse 2, “I came so close to the edge of the cliff! My feet were slipping and I was almost gone.” Verses 14-16, “All I get out of it is trouble and woe—every day and all day long! If I had really said that, I would have been a traitor to your people. Yet it is so hard to explain it — this prosperity of those who hate the Lord!” It looks like Asaph was a pretty miserable fellow.

Then look at verse 17, “Then one day I went into God’s sanctuary to meditate and thought about the future of these evil men.” Oh wow! 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, I get as close to him as I can! I have chosen him, and I will tell everyone about the wonderful ways he rescues me.” Oh, how delightful that is! That 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 to tell everyone about the wonderful things of Yahweh. He is my joy and delight. I enjoy every aspect of life. Even with my current physical issues. I love my wife and each of my children, and each of my grandchildren. But, me? My delight is in the Lord!

Search the Word for what God has done for you through Jesus Christ. Remember your rights as His child, and then choose to think on those things. It is your choice.

Paul provided my personal confession:

We are destroying sophisticated arguments and every exalted and proud thing that sets itself up against the true knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought and purpose captive to the obedience of Christ, being ready to punish every act of disobedience, when your own obedience as a church is complete” (II Corinthians 10:5-6)

Personally, I work at bringing every thought captive! Hey! Not just me, all of us are responsible control our thinking! For instance, in Psalms 34 — a Psalm of praise, David wrote. “I will extol the LORD at all times; his praise will always be on my lips . . .I asked the Lord for help, and He delivered me from all my fears.” Wait! All our fears? How about our fear of failure? Or fear of death? Or fear of loneliness? What about our fear of rejection? Yep! He will deliver us from all of those fears and more!  The Psalm continues with: ”

The Psalm 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 anymore! 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 Yehoveh is so deep, your delight is so great, your longing 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 the 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

Doulos Studies

(I send out messages like this each morning in emails, and if you are interested in receiving them, send me your email address and I will add you to the list: Mail List)

I do thank you for your gifts. It is your faithful and continued support that makes these messages possible.

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