The thoughts that daily bombard our mind either put us in a good place or a bad place. In other word’s, our thoughts make us or break us. What are you thinking? Good or bad, our thoughts will influence the way we respond to different situations around us. The way we react is largely based on what has been going on in our minds. This is why it is so important to control your thoughts!
I heard this one time, “You don’t always have to say what comes to your mind.” We aren’t very wise when we speak out everything that comes to our mind. First of all our words hold power. We are what we speak. We’ve all spoken our mind at one time or another and soon regretted what we said. We would be wise if we learned to listen more and hold our tongues. Solomon wrote in Proverbs 21:23, “Whoever guards his mouth and tongue keeps his soul from troubles. (NKJV). I particularly like this in The Message, “Watch your words and hold your tongue; you’ll save yourself a lot of grief.” This is so true! And is a great reminder to watch our words!!
Certainly we’ve all said something we wish we hadn’t said. If that’s you and you’ve wounded someone with your words, go back and apologize! Clear the air so you can move forward. To the best of your ability do not allow offense to rip you off of a relationship that might be vital in your life. Jesus said these important words in Matthew 5:23-24 “Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.” (NKJV)
I didn’t really like this scripture when I would read it and I had something negative in my heart towards someone. I didn’t want to go to the person that I had offended and ask for forgiveness. In fact, I can’t remember a time when I wanted to obey this. On the other hand I knew I needed to obey the Word, plus I wanted grace from God more than I wanted to hold on to my pride. If we don’t humble ourselves, the book of James says that God will resist us. However, if we humble ourselves, He gives us more grace! (James 4:6 NKJV)
I also realized that if I had hurt someone and I was aware of it, it was my Christian duty to go apologize and make it right. Even though it didn’t always turn out the way I thought it would, as sometimes people won’t receive an apology. It’s not our duty to try and make them receive it. It’s our duty to keep a clear conscience. It’s our duty to ask for forgiveness and walk in love to the best of our ability. I decided a long time ago I wanted to be like the Apostle Paul who said, “…. I myself always strive to have a conscience without offense toward God and men.” (Acts 24:16 NKJV) What this means is don’t react when someone speaks harshly to you. Forgive and let it go, immediately. Now we will look at the other side of this – the “thought” part.
If you are a born again believer, you have a target on your back! Satan would like nothing more that to take you out! It comes back to the thoughts. Maybe you are the one offended. Maybe you are the offender. Whichever you are, don’t dwell on it. Just let it go. Shake it off, and don’t allow the enemy to set up camp in your mind. He has strategies to capture you and he uses wrong thoughts. He will begin to bombard your mind with one wrong thought after another. If you allow him to, he will continue to throw one right after another after another after another, etc. until He is ruling your mind. His soul desire is to set up a stronghold in your mind.
What is a stronghold, you might ask? A stronghold is defined as a remote hold, meaning to fortify, through the idea of holding safely; or as a castle. This is what the devil wants to do with your mind! He wants to set up a stronghold and hold it safely against the knowledge of the Word. He wants to set up a fortress in your mind that keeps the Word of God out! People that allow negative thoughts to run rampage in their minds often find themselves down in the dumps and no longer wanting to go to church, or to hang out with friends. However, the bible tells us to forgive, let offense go, and to cast down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. Every thought! That is why we need to be careful about what thoughts we are thinking and not allow our minds to just think whatever it wants to think. When a thought comes into your mind and you recognize it as a non-God thought, take authority over it and cast it down.
Many of the thoughts come into our mind are not from God. Ask yourself this: Is this a God-thought, a me-thought or a thought from the enemy? Usually thoughts from the enemy are negative in nature or push you into pride. Such as; “You are such a great person, and do so much,” (This may be true, but the enemy is good at half truths and then this:)” But, you never get recognized!” And with that thought can come another. (A me-thought) “Yes, I never get recognized.” And then, “NO you never get recognized and they always take advantage of you. Nobody really likes you here anyway!” If you continue on this bent, before long, you will not be in a “happy” place and instead feeding off of negative thoughts that can explode in your emotions and actually make you respond wrongly and be sad, sappy, grumpy and depressed. If you allow the thoughts to continue, they can cause you to be un-affective in your place of business, marriage, church work, friendships or wherever! Don’t allow them! Stop them! This is the enemy’s tactic and he will render you useless if you allow the thoughts to remain. And they will most likely move you out of your calling, or work-place or marriage.
God-thoughts on the other hand are positive, gentle and many times corrective in nature. If you are not careful you could be rebuking God-thoughts thinking it is a thought from the enemy. One time God spoke to me to give away a coat. Because I was just learning to discern God’s voice, I wasn’t sure who was giving me the order. I explained it to someone and they said, “God wouldn’t tell you to do that, it’s the enemy, rebuke him.” I agreed, surely God wouldn’t tell me to give away my most prized coat! So I rebuked the thought and went on. The only problem was, it didn’t go away. For several days, I kept hearing, “Give your coat away.” Even telling me to whom. At one point He told me, it wasn’t my coat! I got so uncomfortable wearing it, and I figured out it was Gods spirit prompting me to do this, that I finally obeyed and got a miracle in our finances the next day. God is so awesome and is always looking to bless us! But sometimes He prompts us to do things we don’t really want to do in order to position us for His blessing.
A hint, the more you stay in the Word of God and allow His voice to speak to you from the Word, the more familiar you will be with His leading, prompting and His thoughts. John 10:27 says, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” (NKJV) So our goal is to learn to listen (and obey) the God-thoughts and not the enemy’s thoughts. Rebuking them as they come, refusing to allow the enemy to set up a stronghold in your mind. Hope this helps you!
Proverbs 4:23, “Be careful how you think; Your life is shaped by your thoughts.” GNT
Karen Jensen Salisbury “What you tell yourself every day will either lift you up or tear you down.”