Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Guarding Your Mind

As you may already know, this blog points a lot of attention to Proverbs 4:23, "Above all else guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life."  This verse tells us that our heart is the most sacred of all places we hold inside ourselves.

From this treasured spot flow our thoughts and desires, which then lead to our words and actions.  Our words and actions are what make up our character.  They have the ability to glorify God or commit sin (Mark 7:15, James 3:8-10.)

Matthew 12:34 says, "For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks."  and Romans 12:2 tells us to "be transformed by the renewing of our minds" so we can test and approve God's will, and 2 Corinthians 10:5 says we are to "take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ."  These are strong powerful truths that can help us break the bonds Satan has been wrapping around us with his web of lies.

We need to realize that not all of our thoughts come from us.  Many of them come from our sinful nature, a.k.a. Satan.  Paul talks about such spiritual warfare in Romans 7.  Though we are set free in Christ, we often times still struggle with the temptations of the flesh.  Because Satan is the father of lies, he begins tempting us with a lie  (John 8:44.)

These lies are first brought to us through a thought in our head that comes from Satan.  When you catch yourself thinking something that doesn't exactly glorify your maker, it is your choice what to do at that point.
  • Option A) You can feed off of this lie and run with it.  Let your imagination carry you wherever it wishes.  Fantasize about that man, dwell on the anger that relative caused you, or build up your frustration so you can let it all out.  Though this is the option we naturally and most commonly take, it rarely ever ends well.
  • Option B) You can stop this web of lies immediately by calling out Satan and reminding him that you are a child of God who has been set free from all these childish games (Romans 6:6, Galatians 3:26, 1 Corinthians 13:11.)
As I explained in Preparing for War pt. 2, God gives us all the tools we need to fight against Satan, in Ephesians 6.  Not only that, but Philippians 4:6-7 tells us that if we would only pray to God about anything and everything, our MINDS would be guarded by the peace of God.  Yes, our minds, this means that we can learn to control our actions and words by protecting our minds from believing lies Satan throws at us.  This idea is reinforced by 1 Thessalonians 5:17, Matthew 26:41, and Ephesians 6:18.

The next time you catch a negative thought entering your mind, try praying a prayer that goes something like this,
Father, I know without a doubt that this thought is not from you.  It is negative and sinful and know it is a lie.  Your word says if I pray to you, you will protect my mind from such things.  Please God, take this thought out of my head and help me focus on your Word instead.  Renew my mind so that I may test and approve your will.  In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.

THEN, take out your verse of the week and recite it to yourself.  Quoting scripture is always a good way to reinforce the holy thoughts bouncing around in your brain.  Even Jesus used this tactic (Matthew 4.)