Today I will continue my current series entitled, REASONS WHY NOT TO FEAR! Reason #8: Your thoughts control your life! This is a very important point. Let’s discuss it today.
Solomon said, “Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.” (Proverbs 4:23 NKJV). The Easy to Read Version reads: “Above all, be careful what you think because your thoughts control your life. ”
So what does this mean for you today? It means that your thoughts are impacting (good or bad) every area and aspect of your life.
1. You feel the way you feel because of your thoughts.
a) Uncontrolled thoughts lead to uncontrolled feelings and the results can be devastating.
b) The job of your feelings is to amplify your thoughts. I will use the praise-and-worship portion of a church service as an example. If you sit in an atmosphere where people are leading you to sing songs of praise, causing you to think about the goodness of God for 10-15 minutes, no matter how you felt when you came to the church, you will begin to feel good. Then the praise-and-worship team might shift into singing songs about God Himself and how great He is. This may go on for another 10-15 minutes. By then you may find yourself lifting up your hands in the presence of the Lord. Finally, if the praise-and-worship team closes out the session with a few minutes of singing directly to God, with an outpour of love from your heart, even if you are not an overly emotional person, you may find yourself weeping or crying out in the presence of your God. You came in the church FEELING one way, but after 30-45 minutes of THINKING about God and His goodness, you FEEL completely different. Why? Because your feelings simply amplify your thoughts.
Let’s look at this point in a different way. Let’s say you had a great day and you are feeling pretty good. You get home only to receive terrible news. The news is so bad that you FEEL like someone hit you in the gut. You take a seat and begin to nurse and rehearse the bad news over and over and over again in your mind. This goes on for 30 minutes. How do you think you are going to FEEL? Since you are meditating on BAD news, you are going to feel BAD. There is no mystery to it. But what if satan can get you to nurse and rehearse bad news for hours, or days, or weeks? That’s how believers delve into depression. Their mind is fixed on bad news, therefore they FEEL terrible. A doctor can give you pills to numb your feelings, but you don’t have a “feelings” problem. Your feelings are working. Your feelings are amplifying your thoughts. You actually have a THINKING problem and pills to numb your feelings will never deal with the root issue.
c) For the next few months, the world is going to be dealing with COVID-19. This is NOT a time where you can allow your thoughts to roam or wander. You must be disciplined in your mind. If you give the devil your attention for 5 seconds, he can have your mind for 5 minutes. And if you allow this to happen over and over again, you run the risk of losing your mental health in this season.
d) A person with uncontrolled feelings is actually a person with uncontrolled thoughts. Since this person is not in control of his/her thoughts, they are actually not in control of his/her life!
2. Whatever you think about consistently is building a wall (of protection or destruction) around your heart and mind.
The Apostle Paul said, “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” (2 Cor 10:3-5 KJV). Paul wrote this in reverse, from the end (strongholds) to the beginning (thoughts). Let’s take a closer look at this passage.
a) We Start off with a thought. Our minds are constantly flooded with thoughts from either (1) ourselves, (2) the devil, or (3) God. We must learn to discern which thoughts are which so we can know which ones to receive and which ones to reject. This is critical because thoughts leads to actions. Every action, good or bad, starts with a thought. One quick way of knowing a thought did NOT come from God is when the thought is contrary to God’s Word. The Spirit of God will never lead you contrary to the Word of God.
b) Our thoughts create Images (imaginations). We do not think in words. Words are containers for images. For example: if I say, “Please do not think about an elephant, with his big ears and long trunk”, invariably you already pictured that elephant. Thoughts from either God or satan will create images of success or failure. God wants you to see yourself successful by His grace and satan wants you to see yourself a failure, today, tomorrow and forever. In this season where we are dealing with COVID-19, God will do all He can to help paint images upon the canvas of your mind where you can see yourself and your family get through this season unscathed. God will project images of peace, stability, discipline, and consistency. God does this because He wants you to live by faith. If you live by faith you will enter into His rest. On the other hand, the devil, at the same time, will attempt to project images that promote panic, confusion, unrest, dismay, and dread. He does this because he wants you to live in FEAR. You must decide which thoughts to receive and which ones to reject. Whatever you decide will impact the images you are allowing in your mind and heart. This is why controlling your thoughts are so important. If you allow negative thoughts in, a picture of failure and fear will be painted and you won’t be able to stop it. That’s why Paul taught us to take every thought CAPTIVE.
c) If not controlled, ungodly images can create strongholds. Uncontrolled and unchallenged thoughts from the enemy allow ungodly images in. If this process is allowed to be repeated, the ungodly images will ultimately lead to an ungodly stronghold. Strongholds can be very difficult to escape from. It’s like being trapped in your own mind; like being a prisoner in your own body.
The word Paul used here for “stronghold” is the same word used for “fortified city”. In Biblical times, enormous walls were built around cities to keep everyone inside the city safe and to keep unwanted visitors out. If you don’t capture and reject ungodly thoughts you will find yourself trapped behind a stronghold in your own mind. These strongholds can lead to depression or addiction. A person battling the negative thoughts of depression and fear, or the one addicted to pornography, alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, sexual immorality, gossip, etc., is a person who allowed ungodly thoughts in unchecked and now they are dealing with a stronghold. They are literally trapped behind a fortified city, bound by their own thoughts. When a person gets to this point it is hard for Godly words to get over that negative wall.
Here’s the good news: the opposite is also true. Godly thoughts can create Godly images and if you allow the process to repeat itself enough long enough, God’s images will ultimately lead to a Godly stronghold. Think about it this way: You can have a Godly fortified wall around your mind, to the point where it is hard for negative or ungodly thoughts to get in. This is where you want to be, especially as the world is dealing with Coronavirus. The more you get the Word of God down in your heart, the more Godly images will be produced, and the more susceptible you will be to Godly influence. At this point, it will be hard for the enemy to get a thought over your wall of protection. Said another way, “If you meditate and medicate on God’s Word long enough, there will be a wall of protection around your heart and mind and negative thoughts of fear, doubt or unbelief will have a hard time getting in.” This is how you want to live. Especially now, as the world is “freaking out”. You can be stable and at peace, while the world is going haywire because you control the way you think and your thoughts are producing feelings that are conducive to the life of faith!
3. Do you realize how important your thoughts are?
a) Your mind is the control center of your life (Proverbs 4:23). If you can control the way you think, you will be in control of the way you live.
b) God has given you the grace to take control of every thought, because He wants you to be in control of your life.
c) God gave you feelings to enjoy life. Feelings are a blessing when they are under control. You were designed to control your feelings, not for your feelings to control you!
d) It’s your mind and it will focus on whatever you make it focus on. Believe it or not, you are actually in control!
That’s enough for today.
Declaration of Faith:
Father, I take control of every thought. By taking control of my thoughts I take control of my life. I tell my mind what to meditate on. I direct my will to make decisions that line up with Your purpose for me. I no longer allow uncontrolled thoughts to lead to uncontrolled feelings. I don’t live by feelings, I live by faith. I focus my thoughts on You and Your Word. I enter this day declaring that my mind is alert, my body is awake, my thoughts are sharp and in check, my focus is clear, my purpose is before me, my God is with me, and success is inevitable. I am not moved by Coronavirus. I refuse to allow negative thoughts to run roughshod over my life. I will never again allow feelings to control me. From this day forward I tell my feelings how to feel. Living this way, fear has no power over me! I declare this by faith! In Jesus’ name. Amen!
This is Today’s Word. Apply it and prosper!