Happy New Year to all! My prayer for 2012 is that you would be OVERTAKEN AND OVERWHELMED by the goodness of God! That many long standing dreams would be fulfilled restoration of families, miraculous healings and breakthroughs in businesses that have suffered greatly in the last few years. I pray that ‘God would make a way where there seems to be no way’. I am ever mindful of the challenges being faced in the bush and there are many who pray for you.
This month I feel to write on the ‘power of thinking right’. Our minds are constantly bombarded externally (through media) – bad news everywhere, seductive advertising that undermines the strength and morality of society. Internally, when we live in relative isolation and are left to our own devices we can become captive to thoughts from our own futile imaginings (this often results in wrong thinking that fractures friendships, and isolates families from one another). Worse still, when we are at a low ebb through ill health or problems we can’t seem to find a solution for, we can be bombarded with demonic thoughts that threaten our lives. Could we take a moment to reflect on the powerful part our mind plays and how it affects every aspect of our lives for better or worse!
Our thoughts color our attitudes and in turn shape our character and affect our health our relationships and our destiny. The Bible says that, ‘as a man thinks in his heart, so is he’. We are what we think! Negative or mean thoughts, fuelled by emotion become an action – often with tragic consequence. Likewise, charitable kind thoughts, fuelled by emotion become an action that will bless others.
(Ephesians 4:24 says, ‘Be constantly renewed in the Spirit of your mind (HAVING A FRESH MENTAL ATTITUDE). How do we renew our thinking? ‘By the washing of the water of God’s Word’. In other words, by taking time to allow the wondrous, miraculous powerful Word of God to so permeate and saturate our thinking, to seep into every crack and crevasse and every faulty mindset that it flushes out the debris, transforms us and brings a new vibrancy and deep and abiding peace. The more we SOAK, MUSE UPON AND CHEW OVER, (like a cow chewing its cud), God’s Word, the more our thinking is transformed and greater is the peace that settles around our heart.
I often relate how when my husband regularly read his Bible, (whether I knew it or not), I could tell by the peace that came over him and by the wisdom that came out of his mouth. (He also looked 10 years younger!) Such is the POWER of the Word of God! (Sure beats botox)!
Changing our thinking begins with a CHOICE. It is an ongoing process. It requires us to NOT ALLOW those unfruitful thoughts to roost, but to be as ruthless with them as we would an intruder endangering our home! 2 Corinthians 10:5 gives us the key to overcoming wrong thinking. ‘Casting down vain imaginations and EVERY high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, BRINGING EVERY THOUGHT into captivity to the OBEDIENCE OF Christ. Casting down means TO REFUTE, DEMOLISH, REFUSE TO ENTERTAIN’. As we refuse to entertain those destructive/negative/hate filled thoughts and replace them with the alternative spoken of in Phillipians 4:8,9 ‘… whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, lovely and lovable, whatever is kind, winsome and gracious, if there is ANY virtue and excellence, ANYTHING worthy of praise, THINK ON, WEIGH and TAKE ACCOUNT of these things (FIX YOUR MINDS ON THEM). Practice what you have learned and received and heard and model your way of living on it then the GOD OF PEACE (of UNTROUBLED, UNDISTURBED WELL-BEING) WILL BE WITH YOU.
If you are ever bombarded with fearful thoughts read 2 Timothy 1:7 and quote it OUT LOUD! ‘For God has not given me a spirit of fear but of power and love and a sound mind’. Sound mind denotes, SAFE THINKING, GOOD JUDGMENT, DISCIPLINED THOUGHT PATTERNS and the ABILITY TO UNDERSTAND and MAKE RIGHT DECISIONS. It includes the qualities of SELF-CONTROL and SELF-DISCIPLINE.
As we begin the New Year, I entreat you to find a hunger for God’s beautiful, comforting, inspiring, challenging and life transforming Word. He IS the Way the Truth and the Life. Why not purpose in your heart to start your day by reading ‘Word For Today’! I know it will always give you a nugget of Truth to focus upon – albeit one sentence that leaps out from the page and speaks to your heart! That is GOD, Almighty God, Who loves and cares for you more than you care about yourself. He wants to speak a SPECIFIC MESSAGE to you in the midst of YOUR circumstances. Maybe you’d consider reading the Scriptures for each day. See it as giving God further opportunity to speak to you, and give you wisdom for the task at hand. ABOVE ALL, have ABSOLUTE TRUST and EXPECTANCY that He longs for you to be complete and made whole, free from pain and suffering, often the result of our own willful disobedience to His precepts.
As God created us, our soul, (mind, will and emotions) was never meant to ‘run the show’! We are created a SPIRITUAL being. Our spirit is located in the deepest part of us. It thirsts to be connected to God and takes place when we choose, through an act of our will to surrender our heart to Jesus Christ. The Bible states clearly and emphatically in John 14:6, (Jesus’ words), ‘no man comes to the Father but through Me’. When our spirit re-connects with God, and is fed by the Word of God it becomes strong and takes it’s rightful place as ‘the boss’ over our soul!
It is a truly amazing how the Bible becomes vibrantly alive to us after the simple verbal act of acknowledging Jesus as our Saviour and truly surrendering our lives to His Lordship. (Much like placing Him in the driver’s seat and handing the steering wheel over to Him)! Quite a daunting prospect to many of us who’ve been ‘self-sufficient’ for a very long time before we found it wasn’t working so well. My dear friends, I have walked this journey too and can unequivocally say I have never experienced a greater peace and joy, a greater sense of purpose and a hope for the future regardless of the surrounding circumstances for my remaining days on this earth.
My fervent prayer is that we will all walk together into the fullness of destiny and see our Nation turn back to the ‘Ancient paths where the GOOD way is’ – that we would once again see Governments with a reverential respect for the Word and ways of God, who would unashamedly seek God for wisdom at the start of their days, that we would see corruption and injustice demolished as more and more people in our beautiful Nation turn to Christ before it is too late!
May God richly bless you and keep you safe always!