Philippians 4:8 (NLT)
“And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”
What does that really mean to be honoring to God?
His Word tells us that we are to focus our thoughts on all that is true, (meaning do our thoughts align with the Word of God-which is truth), all that is honorable (to God), and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Thoughts focusing on these things are worthy of praise. They are excellent to God.
Why does the Bible place such great emphasis on what we think about?
God knows how our minds work; He created us. He knows how easily swayed we can be, how quickly we can drift away, and how susceptible we are to outside influence.
You know who else knows all of this too? The enemy. In fact, our minds are his favorite place to hang out. The enemy knows how incredibly weak we are when we aren’t focused on the Word of God. All he has to do is plant one little seed of jealousy, doubt, worry, misunderstanding and he knows many of us will quickly spiral downward into a whole slew of destructive thoughts.
God desperately wants us to stay strong against the attacks of the enemy and not give into his meddling ways.
He also wants you and I to keep our focus on Him; His truth, His promises, His faithfulness, His goodness, His love, His mercy, His grace, His peace, and His hope. It’s only when our eyes and mind are fixed on who God is, that we can withstand and overpower the attacks of the enemy.
2 Corinthians 10:5 (NIV) reminds us, “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
Do you take your thoughts captive and make them obey the ways of Christ?
Of course we won’t stop all negative or destructive thinking from entering our mind, we’re human and we have a strong tendency to be drawn to the negative. We can lessen the harmful effects by developing our self control and increasing our awareness to realize when we have allowed the enemy to enter in, and make our thoughts his playground.
The sooner we can gain this awareness, the more quickly we can redirect our thoughts to what is true, honorable, pure, lovely, and excellent in God’s eyes.
Why is it so important to think on such things vs. allowing negative thoughts to consume our mind?
The reality is, what we think about we begin to act out.
Whatever we focus our thoughts on, we will live out eventually in our actions. If you put yourself down all the time, you will develop behaviors that are destructive to you. If you carry around anger or resentment to others, your behaviors towards those people will also reflect what you think about. If you feel the world is a hopeless place and there is no good left in it, you won’t likely take much action to make it any different then what you believe.
However, if you focus your thoughts on God’s love, mercy, grace, and hope; your actions will emulate what you are thinking about.
You will show love, mercy, grace, and hope to others around you more often. If you believe there is much good in the world, you will likely take action to do what you are able to make the world a better place around you.
What we think about, we eventually act upon.
God created us to have a personal and joyful relationship with Him! He desires to bless us with a life that is filled with joy, wonder, love, peace, and hope. To have this, we need to align our hearts to His. We need to align our thoughts with His, so that we may live a life of abundance that He desires for us!
Jesus teaches us in John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
Seeking God daily in quiet time, in His Word, and through prayer is the best way for us to set our thoughts on all things that are true and lovely.
Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. It is honoring to God when we strive to take captive every thought we have and make it obey to the ways of Christ. It is honoring to God when we allow the Holy Spirit to guide our thoughts and direct our path.
Take your thoughts captive today and each day! Don’t give the enemy a foothold into your mind. Honor God by keeping your mind free from destructive thoughts, and fill it instead with His holy Word and truth. Let His Word be what you dwell on throughout your day and live life to the full!
Father God thank you for the reminder of how easily led astray I can be with my own thoughts. How quickly the enemy can enter in and destroy my day with one negative thought that I allow to build into many negative thoughts. Lord I want to take captive every thought and make it be obedient to you and your ways. I don’t want to think on things that are destructive and unloving. I want to emulate you and all that is good in your eyes. Teach me Lord to take my thoughts captive. Help me to develop my self control. Remind me of your Word when I have let my thoughts run astray. Draw my heart back to you. Seal your Word deep within my heart that I can remember it and speak it out loud over my thoughts and over my situation. I know as I speak your truth and resist the devil, he has to flee. Help me gain control of my thoughts more quickly Lord when I fall. Help me to see your face and be reminded of the power I have to overcome anything harmful in my life, because I have your mind with your spirit dwelling in me. Thank you for helping me be free from the prison of my own thoughts! You are such a good, good Father. In your son’s most powerful name, I pray. Amen.
May you take captive every thought and live life to the full!
Love God and love others deeply, and be blessed in return!