Proverbs 23:7 says “For as he thinks in his heart so is he”. For me that tells me the kind of impact our thoughts can have on us.
What we are today comes from our thoughts of yesterday, and our present thoughts build our life of tomorrow: Our life is the creation of our mind.Buddha
If our thoughts have such a profound impact on our lives then we should make it a priority to think the right thoughts. Thoughts that line up with the Word of God! Because every action is a reaction of what we first thought.
Let’s read what the Apostle Paul mentions about this in Romans 8:5-8….
Romans 8:5–8 (NIV)
5 Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. 7 The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.
Fruit of our flesh
Paul begins by describing that those who live according to the flesh are those who are thinking about what the flesh(our sinful nature) desires. He also describes the fruit of these thoughts in…
Galatians 5:19–21 (NIV)
19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
These are the fruit of people who are living according to the flesh and those walking outside the will of God. So ask yourself “Do I struggle with any of these”?
Maybe it’s idolatry and you have put other things above God such as family, sports, and so on…
Or maybe its fits of rage which isn’t one outburst but your’e life displays a pattern of anger episodes?
Whatever it is, the problem is our thought process not just toward those things but, toward God and it needs to be fixed. This can only be done by binding our mind to the mind of Christ. In order to act like him we need to think like Him. We need to think about what were thinking about.
In verse 6 of Romans 8 in the NIV it mentions the how the mind is “governed”. Other translations say “carnally minded” or “Mindset”
This is the very same verb that Jesus used to describe Peter when he rebuked him and Said get behind me Satan, you do not have the things of God in mind but human concerns”(Matthew 16:23)
Now even though Peter had good intentions he was looking at it from a worldly view & Paul is saying the same thing here.
Seriousness of sin
Barclay writes that “to allow the things of the world completely to dominate life is self extinction; it is spiritual suicide
I don’t think we take sin seriously enough. We let it creep into our communities, our schools, our churches, our homes, our lives, and the very fabric of who we are. We are quick to forget that it was our sin that caused Jesus to be nailed to the cross. Death is a consequence of sin, life is the reward of justification. Death is the absence of God, life is a right standing before him. Whether or not a person is filled with the Holy Spirit is truly a life and death matter. Repentance has a two-fold meaning. Its means to turn from our sin and turn to God which both involve a change of mind.
Think about what you think about
Paul also tells us in the book of Philippians 4:8
“8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
We are in a spiritual war but it’s not with other humans. It’s with Satan and the kingdom of darkness. He has minions called demons who he has strategically placed to defeat us in the war we are in. He knows our strengths, our weaknesses, our fears and insecurities. He is the father of lies who will place thoughts, suspicions, assumptions, and thought patterns in our minds that are contrary to the will of God.
This is why we need to take every thought captive to Christ. We can’t believe every thought that comes to our minds because not every one of them is true.
Over time we can develop these strong holds. These are patterns of thoughts that are so ingrained in our minds by Satan that we have come to believe because we have believed for so long or we are so blinded by the deception that nothing else even looks like truth.
Weapons for our warfare
We are in a fight and it’s not with weapons of this world but it’s weapons that can demolish even the strongest of strongholds and deception.
We have the armor of God which includes the helmet of Salvation. Through this helmet of salvation, we can “destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ”
If we are going to operate in the power of the Holy Spirit and walk in Him then we need to know the mind of the Holy Spirit. How He thinks, how He operates, how He talks, and how He leads.
Is your mind-set on Christ or is it set on the world and it’s desires? If you set your mind and your thoughts on what the Holy Spirit thinks about such as love, peace, and joy, then that is exactly what you will have.
Maybe something happened to you as I kid where you harbor anger or resentment.
Maybe you have unforgiveness and resentment toward someone today.
Maybe you have been taught an attitude that you need to unlearn.
Paul says in Romans 12:2–
2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Likewise, we need to renew our mind with God. We need to read His Word but, not only that, we need to preach it to ourselves. Preach his promises, preach his commands, preach his love to ourselves until it is engraved on the canvas of our hearts.
Think of it this way, you’re riding in a car driven by your personal driver and every time your driver asks you where you want to go you simply say: “I don’t know. Where ever you want to go is fine with me.” Then when your driver takes you to the place of his choice you complain and say: “I don’t want to be here, take me somewhere else.” And again you say you don’t know where you want to go.
in order to train our minds to think like Christ, we have to know Him deeply. We need to know Him more than our spouse, more than our siblings, more than our best friends.
You know how you are so connected to someone who you are thinking the same thing that you begin to say the same thing in unison? Well that’s how much we need to be connected to God.
You who live according to the Spirit are called to think differently from the world and put on the mind of Christ. When we do that, it will alter our course and instead of death we will find life. Instead of turbulence we will find peace and rest for our souls. So start thinking, about what you are thinking about and make sure it lines up with the author and perfector of your salvation, Jesus Christ.