Have you noticed how your mind can run away with you at times? It’s almost as if it has a life of its own and while you start off thinking of one topic, it may wander off in a completely different direction. From the key scripture, it’s clear that our minds can be controlled, either by our sinful nature or by the Holy Spirit.
Some meditation techniques encourage you to empty your mind of all thoughts, and allow it to be a clean slate. While this sounds very appealing, especially when we feel anxious or stressed, this isn’t what God’s Word teaches us to do. Colossians 3:2 says, ‘Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth’. Philippians 4:8 says, ‘Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things’. We’re encouraged to focus and to FILL our minds with good things, not to leave it void and an easy target for the enemy to invade and direct.
What we allow our minds to dwell on will definitely sink into our hearts, and affect our emotions and ultimately our words and actions. A famous quote of Martin Luther says, ‘You can’t keep birds from flying over your head but you can keep them from building a nest in your hair’. We may not always be able to stop a thought from entering our minds, but we can decide whether we will entertain it and meditate on it. When we make the choice to allow a thought to linger and give it time to grow, it will undoubtedly bear fruit of some kind. 2 Corinthians 10:15 encourages us to bring ‘every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ’.
When the Holy Spirit is in control of our minds, it bears the fruit of constant and perfect peace: ‘You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind [both its inclination and its character] is stayed on You, because he commits himself to You, leans on You, and hopes confidently in You’ (Isaiah 26:3). Choosing to trust in God, to lean on Him, and to train my mind to always be inclined to stay on God and His Word, produces a sound and peaceful mind.
Prayer: Lord, thank You that You know us so well, and that Your Holy Spirit is our Helper. Please forgive me for often allowing my mind to dwell on the cares of this world, and on things that won’t produce good fruit. Jesus, please be Lord over my mind, and help me, Holy Spirit, to allow You to be in control. Amen.