<<mind processes, ideas>>
We are thinking beings because God is a thinking being. God has given us minds to think, imagine, plan and reason with our thoughts being seeds of actions that will bring forth results unless stopped (Mk 7:21-23). As the type of seed sown determines the ultimate crop, can we expect good actions to be the result of feeding our minds with trash? The unconscious root causes of our warped, wrong and false thoughts (which determine our behaviour) need to be confronted with the truth of God’s Word, replacing negative, selfish or wrong thoughts with positive, other-focused and correct messages.
We are the custodians of our mind, so the old patterns of thinking are to be crucified to receive the transformed, renewed mind (Rom 12:2; Eph 4:22-24). Do not just blindly accept all that is propagated, use your brains and do some critical thinking – by its nature does this come from God or a wholesome source?
Thoughts are often forerunners to action
our thoughts provide the foundations of our actions through self-fulfilling prophesy (Job 3:25). Instead, in faith visualize your goal and work towards it. As our thoughts have creative power to begin the process of developing ideas into innovative solutions, it is important to ensure they receive the correct information and input from our senses, otherwise we can be deceived into wrong assumptions and inappropriate actions (Act 8:20, 12:9, 16:27). Having judged that they are sound, consider whether they should be acted on now or at a future date. Most ideas need more processing by meditating (further thinking about) and refining over time. We are to think before speaking and acting, and afterward reflect on that action, giving careful thought to our ways (Prov 4:26, 14:15, 15:28, 21:29; Hag 1:5-7)
God knows all our thoughts and stated long ago that they are continually biased towards evil (Ps 94:11). As we are accountable for them we should not think about how to gratify sinful desires, but turn and go the way that pleases God (Gen 6:5; Ps 119:59, 139:2; Prov 12:8, 15:26; Jer 17:10; Ezek 11:5; Rom 14:12; Heb 4:12,13; Rev 2:23). The Bible calls the wicked to forsake their [evil] thoughts and ways, and teaches that this only happens when our minds are renewed (Is 55:7; Rom 12:2), The Holy Spirit aids us in this process but we should be actively working on eliminating the bad and replacing it with the good. We are told to take every negative and defeatist attitude captive, along with all impure and lustful thoughts (which are capable of making us prisoners), bringing all these potentially destructive ideas and laying them before Christ, so they can’t grow and produce an evil result (Prov 4:23; 2 Cor 10:4,5; Col 2:8; Jas 1:14,15). Every thought we don’t take captive, takes us captive. Therefore, we need to evaluate our thoughts; if they are bad, reject them and replace them with something honourable, utilizing the teachings of Scripture to guide our thinking. We will be transformed as our mind is renewed by Godly input and we are disciplined in our attitudes to focus on “the good, worthwhile and wholesome things in life” (Rom 12:2,3; Phil 4:8; Heb 3:1; 2 Pet 3:1). As we allow the Spirit of the Lord to work within us, we become more and more like Him (2 Cor 3:18).
What controls our thoughts controls us
working for my good; I’m growing in the image of Christ; if God is for me, who can be against me?; I am more than a conqueror; I’m a new person in Christ; it is for freedom that Christ has set us free; I have been blessed...with every blessing in Christ; I can do all things through Christ; I have a clear sound mind (Rom 5:17, 6:4, 8:28,29,31,37; 2 Cor 5:17; Gal 5:1; Eph 1:3; Phil 4:13; 2 Tim 1:7). To live in victory, our thoughts must come into agreement with Scripture; we need right thinking for right living.
God’s thoughts and ways are very different to ours as He knows all things, from beginning to end (Isa 55:8,9). He is constantly caring for His creation and has gone to great ends to restore humans to their rightful place as children of God (Jer 29:11). However, when people do not think it of any value to have anything to do with God, He gives them up to whatever their hearts devise (Rom 1:28). In contrast, David a man dedicated to God prayed, “Search me, O God and know my heart and test my thoughts” – he knew there would be areas he wasn’t aware of blocking his spiritual pathway (Ps 139:23,24). Am I responsive to deal with the issues the Holy Spirit brings to my attention?
Our thoughts govern us and reflect our character. We need to regularly assess them they are the best gauge of our spiritual state so we should fix our thoughts on Jesus (Col 3:2; Heb 3:1).
See also: accountability, actions/activity, attitude, critical thinking, declare, discipline (self), imagination, input, meditate/meditation, mind, mind of Christ, motive/motivation, positive mental attitude, self-fulfilling prophesy, self-talk, temptation.