Have you ever thought about something long enough that it basically became true to you? Have you ever thought that you told your spouse something, only because you had thought about it so much? Then defended yourself, standing firm on what you believed in that moment, only to find out later that you were wrong? Our minds can trick us into believing untruths.The scripture tells us in Matthew 12:34 that out of the abundance of our heart, the mouth speaks. Proverbs 4:23 states that we need to keep our heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. I believe that much of what settles in our hearts, comes through our heads first.
Romans 1:21b says … “but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.” See how thoughts came in and changed their hearts? When we allow a thought to come in, we have a choice to make; allow it to settle within us or not. We decide if we believe it or not. When was the last time you thought about what you are thinking? Becoming aware of what messages we allow to receive in our minds is part of the process of putting on the mind of Christ. Proverbs 4:23 says “Be careful what you think, because your thoughts run your life.”
Have you ever read II Corinthians 10:5 and wondered, “How do I draw captive a thought?” Your first step is being mindful of what enters your mind. Thoughts come from many different places. The enemy may tell us lies, which can sometimes be partial truths, luring us into believing them. People may speak things over us, some true and some false.We may have our own thoughts, which can sometimes lead us down rabbit trails, spiraling us downwards. Because remember, your perception is your reality. Whether it is true or not, it is what you believe at that time. Once you let a thought in and allow it to become your truth, you live your life based on that truth, even if it's a lie.
Dr. Caroline Leaf, a neuroscientist and author, states in her book, Switch On Your Brain, that “As we think, we change the physical nature of our brain.” So thinking about what we are thinking allows us to line it up with God’s word and decide if it really is truth. Jenni Allen says it like this in her book, Get Out Of Your Head, “What we think will directly become who we are.”
Retrain Your Brain
As we retrain our brain, we literally change and grow new thought patterns thus, changing our hearts and lives. This concept takes intentionality, time and a leaning into the Holy Spirit. Once a thought enters, we need to decide if it is true and comes from God. This requires us to be in an ongoing relationship with Him, knowing His word, spending time with Him, not only in prayer, but in quiet times listening to His voice. Silence is the place that we hear God’s voice best. Satan wants us to be distracted by all the busyness and noise of life. If we don’t know Him and His word, we cannot know what the truth really is.
It is just like God to bless us when we discipline ourselves to be obedient. Let’s look at God’s promises concerning right thinking.
Finding God’s Will
Romans 12:2 tells us that if we renew our minds, we will be able to know what the will of God is for our lives.It reminds us that His will is good, pleasing and perfect. The way we renew our minds is by filling it with truth, with who God says we are and holding all thoughts up to those truths. These truths are our weapons and will stop all our stinking thinking!
Isaiah 26:3 says that He will keep us in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast. Steadfast is defined as unwavering, and resolutely or dutifully kept. Sounds like being intentionally mindful to me!
Romans 8:6 states that if we allow our minds to be ruled by the flesh (letting thoughts come in and settle without finding out if they are true), we get death. But, if we discipline our minds to come under the rule of the Spirit we get life and peace. We refer to God as light and satan as darkness, the enemy wants us to live in darkness so that he can tell us whatever he wants and we will believe him. Remember satan is the father of lies (John 8:44).
Philippians 4:8-9 gives us a list of things to think on; things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy. It goes on to say that we should imitate those who have already begun this discipline in their own lives, and if we do that the God of peace will be with us. This is a great starting point in figuring out if we are thinking correctly. Do our thoughts fall into the categories listed?
Philipians 4:7 God says that in obedience, He will guard your hearts and minds by the peace that comes from Him. This is an incomprehensible peace that only comes from Christ, we cannot get it from anywhere else. Speaking of our hearts, we must make sure that our hearts are in the right place. Remember we said, our hearts and minds are connected, one works off the other. Proverbs 4:23 - “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” I believe in order to keep our heart, we must guard our minds.
Impacting Your Marriage
Can you imagine the changes that would take place within you, if you began implementing these disciplines? As you changed and began thinking what is true and living your life from that, all your relationships would be impacted. Your marriage would be the first place to recognize it. Living in the light of God’s truth would bring life, direction and peace to your marriage.
Psalms 139:23-24 is something we can pray as we start this journey of being mindful of our thoughts. “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
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Allen, J. (2020). Get out of your head: Stopping the spiral of toxic thoughts. WaterBrook.
Leaf, C., Leaf, C., & Leaf, C. (2015). Switch on your brain: The key to peak happiness, thinking, and health. BakerBooks, a division of Baker Publishing Group.