Hold That Thought
By Melva L. Henderson
Lately I’ve been hearing the adage, “Sin will take you further than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay, and cost you more than you want to pay.” Believe it or not, the same is true of our thoughts. If allowed, our thoughts will take us further than we need to go, keep us longer than we need to stay, and when acted on, cost us more than we want to pay.
There are many enemies in life. If I surveyed people asking who they think their enemies are I can guarantee the majority of the answers would fall under two categories: the devil and other people. One enemy people often miss is the “within-a-ME,” the enemy of our own mind. Of all the wars the world has ever known, no war has been in existence as long as the war on the mind.
If we’re going to grow as believers, we must learn the importance of controlling our thoughts; we can’t be “cerebral renegades.” Our thought life is very powerful; it has the potential to move us into success or to drive us to absolute failure. Because of our thoughts people can reject Christ, lives can be destroyed, and relationships can be cut off. If our thoughts are not trained to consistently draw from God’s Word, then our actions won’t align with the Word because what we think about, we bring about.
When my husband and I first married if there was a disagreement, he wanted to “deal with it later “and I needed to talk it out right then and there. After 21 years of marriage, I know better now, but back then “deal with it later” meant he wouldn’t address the issue at all. Because I didn’t want to “put him on the corner of the roof” (Prov. 25:24), to my frustration, I would leave him alone. Unfortunately, the problem typically escalated because I was left alone with my thoughts and I would have a full-blown confrontation with him in my mind. I allowed my mind to take me further than I needed to go and once I got out there the devil peddled thoughts stronger than my own, “He doesn’t love you…he doesn’t care that you were left to deal with this alone.” I would feed on every word the enemy presented and before I knew it I was in my husband’s face holding an iron skillet, ready to let him have it. We argued over all kinds of “important” things like who should have killed a centipede crawling on the kitchen wall! It’s comical now, but back then it wasn’t. This is a simple example, but the examples can be much more extreme sometimes.
God doesn’t want negative thoughts cluttering our mind. He wants us to “cast down” or eradicate those thoughts. When we don’t, we act out in ways inconsistent with who we are in Christ. “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. 10:5, KJV).
Casting down in the Greek means “to throw down with force,” like a king who has been dethroned, or a wrestler who is violently slammed to the ground by his opponent. The Word of God is the muscle we use to bring our thoughts to the obedience of Christ. By using the Word of God we replace our thoughts, and any other thoughts, with God’s. Instead of thinking the worst, the Word helps us think the best. “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” (Phil. 4:8, KJV).
Let the Word of God work in your life! Whenever you find yourself in the middle of a mental battle, wait for the Word to rise up. It’s on the way. I like what Joyce Meyer said, “you’ve got another think coming” so wait for it. Don’t act on the negative; the positive always comes, if you give place to the Word of God in your life.
Today, you may have marvelous opportunities to let your mind “take off.” Don’t do it! Put the weight of the Word on your mind, act on what you see in God’s Word, and you’ll come out winning God’s way!