Romans 12:2 (NIV): “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will.”
Take a second to think about the top 5 things you think about on the daily basis. I don’t mean 5 random thoughts but more so the thoughts that plague your mind. Even the thoughts you sometimes question why you cannot shake or get rid of.
My top 5 are:
1. My salvation and essentially my relationship with Christ. Am I being His bride?
2. My family and how they’re doing physically and spiritually. Is there anyone who needs to be saved?
3. Grades and how I am doing academically. Am I really reaching my full potential in school?
4. My career and the preparation for my future. Am I following the path God has for me?
5. The world and humanity as a whole. Am I being the salt of the earth?
Now out of your top 5 thoughts, how many of them are inspired by Christ? Most of my CURRENT top 5 constant thoughts are related to Christ and thus help keep my mind on Him. I do, however, still have other constant thoughts that fall under the umbrella of lust of the flesh and the lust of the world as a whole. It is usually easier to identity the obvious perverted and wicked thoughts to immediately cast them down. But to my surprise even some of the thoughts in my top 5 can begin with the inspiration of Christ and later be manipulated by the inspiration of Satan. I can begin thinking about my relationship with Christ and the things I need to do better as a bride but before you know it I sometimes find myself stressing about why I will never be good enough. Should I be concerned about the paths I take and decisions I make? Of course. Should I become stressed out and uneasy? Nope. God doesn’t torment nor does He seek to make one miserably paranoid. See, if you give Satan an inch he will take a mile. We cannot be hospitable to Satan in any way. In summary, I am saying that we need to have the discernment of God to effectively identify thoughts inspired by God, our flesh, and Satan. It is important to know who is influencing our thoughts before we claim them as being ours. I find it the sweetest thing when God gives me thoughts of ways to please Him. I love when God sends me a compliment to be of encouragement as I prepare myself daily for the battle of my mind. And I simply adore when He draws pictures in my mind to help me have a blueprint of what it is He wants me to do or know. Want to know what else I find really amazing? When I am confused or uncertain, God will take time to color His drawings with His softest pastels to help my tiny brain grasp His huge and important message so that I may make sense of it all.
1 Corinthians 2:16 (NLT): “For, Who can know the Lord’s thoughts? Who knows enough to teach Him? But we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ.”
Psalm 7:9 (NIV): “Bring to an end the violence of the wicked and make the righteous secure— you, the righteous God who probes minds and hearts.”
Jeremiah 17:10 (NIV): “I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.”
Luke 21:14 (NIV): “But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves.”
Luke 24:38 (NIV): “He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds?”
Romans 7:25 (NIV): “Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.”
Romans 8:5-7 (NIV): ” 5 Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. 7 The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.”
For the past two weeks I have found myself constantly reciting 2 Corinthians 10:5 (NIV): ” 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.” We all know that the things we think about are important. Last week I saw an attractive young man and I felt lust rising up. Recite 2 Corinthians 10:5. I saw a female who I once didn’t care too much for and I felt unforgiveness rising up. Recite 2 Corinthians 10:5. Things were beginning to get rough with school and I began to feel so stressed out that I began thinking, “If only I had one drink.” Recite 2 Corinthians 10:5. Side note: it is a lie straight from the pit of Hell to have “one” drink or to smoke “one” blunt. That only gets the ball rolling and I don’t suggest for anyone to play games with Satan. The game Satan plays is intended to gain souls for keeps. Satan doesn’t catch fish to later through them back in the sea to live with only a punctured lip.
I will admit, it is difficult to give your mind to Christ. I met with my advisor about registering for classes next semester a few weeks ago. The conversation began with school and ended focusing on the Lord. I found myself just talking about God and how amazing He is. Sometimes I can get lost in conversation so I had to remind myself that my advisor most likely needs to meet with other students. I looked at my advisor and I was shocked to see her looking at me and smiling. I wasn’t sure if she was smiling because she was following what I was saying or simply because she wanted me to stop talking. I immediately began apologizing for my possible “rambling.” To my surprise, my advisor immediately recited Philippians 4:8 (NIV): ” Finally, brothers, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” It took me a second or two to grasp what she was saying but essentially—what I was sharing wasn’t boring her but rather was intriguing. So we talked for a couple of more minutes. Those who know me on a personal level know that I LOVE to talk and that I usually don’t need anything other than an invitation to get me started. The things I think about are the things I talk about and further are the things that influence my actions. My mind was full with thoughts concerning the righteousness of God and as a result I was super excited to talk about Him and all that He is doing in my life. These pure and righteous thoughts were producing His fruit but what happens when we have impure thoughts? Yep, they produce impure actions.
This past summer I was emailed a sermon pertaining to imagination. I would say I have an “overactive imagination.” When I was once the only child my imagination was of assistance while playing with my dollhouses and imagining exactly what an author was describing in the books I read. Especially now, maybe even then, my imagination is of more damage than help to me. Imagination takes things and can structure them into being everything they aren’t. The mind is the battlefield, which is why we are given specific instructions in Ephesians 6:17 (NIV): ” Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” If you daydream about how pitiful you think your life is do you think God is rejoicing about you being ungrateful of His blessing of even having life? Our eyes and our ears are our gateways. If you are watching porn will you not have a mind eager to replay the images? If you are listening to music that describes violence and brutality are you not conditioning your mind to operate that way? As Christians we are called to renew our mind so that Christ can overflow in our mind! God didn’t give us a troubled or perverted mind but instead He gave us a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7)! Why are you giving the doubt about the existence of God and the fear of financial instability your precious joy? Why are you letting a spirit of rejection rest in your mind after being informed about the love of Christ (Ephesians 3:19)? We set ourselves up for doom when we give a spirit of rejection a pillow and blanket so that it may find comfort in our mind! Kick those negative thoughts out! It is foolish to think you won’t feel compelled to engage in sexual activities after fantasizing about the sexual position of the day.
THE MIND OF A CHRISTIAN IS SCREAMING!
Below I have posted a series of 3 videos on having the mind of Christ. I wrote this article as God has been revealing to me how important it is to think on things inspired by Him. Thoughts clustered with lust and rebelliousness accompanied with scorn and rejection are typically thoughts that try to manipulate their intentions in my mind. But even an untrained dog will eventually urinate on the floor. If you are unsure about certain thoughts or wonder if they are pleasing to God just remember one thing: if no one else ever knows your thoughts, He does. If you only imagine God in your mind examining every thought as mentioned in (Jeremiah 17:10), your decision-making should become much more precise. From experience, it is difficult to think of Christ while thinking about some sexual desire. I am guilty of having dismissed the thought of God to ease the tension of the thoughts of lust. That is not something I am proud of but I thank God for this discomfort because it brings change and basically, it lets me know one of the thoughts has to go. Which thought leaves and which thought remains is up to me each and every time. God has been giving me mental escapes and I find myself taking advantage of them more now than in the past because I am better at recognizing the seed at conception. I kick the devil’s thoughts out of my mind more often and when Satan comes around for round 2 of temptation, God floods my mind with thoughts of power, strength and authority. No one can ever tell me Christ isn’t the best intercessor one could ask for! Once I dispose the seed of impure thoughts, I won’t have to lament over impure actions. So after all of that, I hand my mind over to you Lord. I know Your hand is gentle yet powerfully built so with your protection, the mind that be in Christ Jesus may also be in me.