I wonder what you spend your time thinking about. If you’re anything like me your thoughts are random and often a bit nonsensical: like a butterfly flitting from one thought to another, and on to another. And I wonder what, when we do have a train of thought, we think about? Or, when things happen what’s our first thought, or default mind setting? Many times I’ve heard that we need to ‘take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ’ (2 Corinthians 10:5). Actually it was the other day, during some teaching, when I was saying these words, that I began to think a little more about them.
I began to think how every sinful thing we do begins with a thought. And it’s when we don’t take these ‘carnal’ thoughts captive that we fall into sin. The more we embrace the carnal thinking in our lives, the more caught in sinful behaviour and attitudes we become. Carnal thinking is full of negativism. Have you ever met someone who lives with ‘their glass half empty’? No matter what you say they’ve had it worse, and no matter what the situation it’s never good, or right. They just can’t come out of a negative, or carnal, mind set, and as much as they’re desperate to move on they simply don’t seem able to.
Maybe that describes you, possibly not all the time, but at least some of the time. Of course, once we’re in this negativity it becomes difficult to take our thoughts captive!
So, if it’s hard to take our thoughts captive, how can we possible start the process of changing from carnal thinking to godly thinking? There’s a lovely verse found in 1 Peter 1:13 ‘Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ’. To gird up the loins of our minds speaks about preparing our minds for action. The father in the story of the two sons ‘girded’ his loins, or gathered up his robes, before running to meet his lost son (Luke 15). He had to prepare for the action of running, just as we’re being taught to prepare for action in our minds. To gird our minds is to take action by thinking on the things which are of God, things that are pure, holy, truthful and honouring to others. The more we get into the habit of doing this, the less we’ll have to struggle to take thoughts captive. And, eventually, the battle for a godly thought life will be won, and our glasses will go from being ‘half empty’ to ‘half full’.
God doesn’t want a part of our mind. He wants all of it. What is it in your thought life that needs changing today? Whatever changes are needed, or however ‘loose’ your mind might be with Jesus, you can begin ‘girding it up’ today.
Prayer: Thank You, Jesus, that You know all my thoughts, even the ones I struggle with. I recognise that I all too easily get caught up in negative and sinful thinking. And today I ask Your forgiveness for these thought patterns and the sinful behaviour and attitudes they produce. I choose today to begin girding up my mind, and ask You, Jesus, to help me do this, and show when I don’t get it right. I ask You, Jesus, to cleanse my mind by the power of the Holy Spirit. In the name of Jesus, Amen.
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