In the great well-known book by James Allen, ‘As a Man Thinketh,’ we read how our thoughts dictate our actions and create in many ways, the lives that we now live.
Certainly our thoughts are important, for they contain the seeds for how we will react to those circumstances around us.
This article is not in any way my attempt to praise the value of positive thinking or to give credence to that philosophy. But there is great value in keeping an eye on our thoughts so as to see how they can and do affect our daily lives.
I find that when I tend to wallow and focus on a certain incident that upset me greatly, soon enough I am in the depths of dark depression and at the very least, a downcast mood.
To be sure, if one’s house was robbed and his family hurt, one can’t just immediately start thinking good thoughts because that wouldn’t even be a human reaction to such a devastating ordeal.
There is a period of time that one must go through in order to deal with grief and loss.
We are told in Scripture,
“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 Corinthians 10:5.
So there is an anecdote for attempting, and then maintaining, mental self-control. This takes a lot of discipline and fortitude, because the mind and its thoughts ramble and go to this thing and that within fractions of a second.
The human mind is complex and unfathomable. And yet just like a ship on the ocean that has a rudder to help steer it, I believe that we can begin to master and even redirect our thoughts towards those things that are of a better nature and not dark and all-consuming.
It is true that what we meditate on throughout the day will affect us.
In Psalm 1 we are told,
“But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.” Psalm 1:2-3.
When one ponders and dwells upon those words in Scripture and feeds upon them, then in time he would prosper, even as a tree planted by the water would flourish.
This isn’t necessarily about monetary prospering, but in prospering in our relationships, daily activities, and many things.
But here again, our thoughts redirect us to either those good things that are above, or those things that are earthly and that are given to decay and death.
I have by no means become a person who has done these things perhaps well, but I just know that somehow I can rise above those circumstances that sometimes come at me even as a whirlwind would.
This can especially come from those who are close to us, for they can vie for our attention and cause us great emotional upheaval. I know this to be true, as I’m certain that many of you do also.
And yet it’s perhaps preposterous to just redirect our thoughts when things are overwhelming us, like one would flip a switch and think of a beautiful piece of scenery instead — that would be mechanical.
And truly what I am saying in all of this is not that one wouldn’t pray earnestly in the Spirit to overcome a situation — that would be foremost and supreme.
But just earnestly praying without a change of outlook, or perhaps even rethinking about a situation, would not fulfill the needed change to happen.
This whole thing I’m talking about here is all-inclusive and it would take an entire book to detail what I’m trying to get across here.
But let me capsulize a lot of this in simply saying that our minds are a battle field. That is where the real war is going on daily and even hourly!
Our minds are bombarded by many things. The world around us and yet even more so, the spiritual world of darkness and light pulls at us perhaps in more ways than we could even comprehend.
The enemy of our souls would speak lies that could rob us of our very peace of mind and prevent us from much that God would speak and give to us.
And so we must take those thoughts captive that would pull us away from God, and then redirect them. We are told in James 3:8 that the tongue is a might member and that who can tame it?
And yet I believe that this equally true of our minds.
~ Stephen Hanson
Stephen Hanson of In His Truth Ministries came to The LORD is a special way in 1975 and has prophesied regularly since. In these end-time birthing pangs we are reminded that judgment must first begin with the household of God. Will we be prepared and ready?