There is a popular secular principle out there called the Dominant Thought Principle. It states, "That which you think on most only grows in dominance as your perceived reality." This is a cornerstone of self-help and self-improvement. Sadly, the world has adopted this approach as their means of personal transformation and meaning. However, we know that any work originating and culminating in us, temporal people, will only have temporal significance. We need eternal work that can only be accomplished by an eternal God through Jesus.
I want to encourage you to spend some time this week prayerfully considering what fills up the space of your thought life. What consumes you? What thoughts float into your mind when your time is unoccupied?
This is of paramount importance when we look at the Truth God has given us... His Truth that is meant to lead us to know Him and to show us how to live for His glory. Romans 12:2 says, "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect."
Read Philippians 2:1-2: "So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind."
There are two intended understandings in these verses. First is that we would have unity with how we think between each other. Secondly, and I think the core intent here, is that we would have unity with the mind of Christ. Our hope is that we have the mind of Christ. What are some of those things that came to your mind when asked, "what are your dominant thoughts?" One of the challenges is that it doesn't have to be a bad thing that we think about to cause harm or arrest our transformation and freedom in Christ. Below you will see some questions and verses to lead you deeper into the importance of our thought lives.
What are your worries and anxieties?
Read Philippians 4:4-8: "Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things."
Think of a time you were shackled by your thoughts. What did it feel like? How did you respond?
Read Romans 8:5-6: "For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace."
Read Colossians 3:1-4: "If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory."
What does it mean to set your minds on things above? What are the "things" you would be focusing on when you "sent your mind on the things above?" What does this at any given moment of your daily life? To ask it another way, if this were true of you, and I were to come to you randomly in the middle of your normal routine day and interrupt you and ask, what are you thinking about, what would your answer be?
That question makes me think of an old pithy quote. It goes something like this. "We should not be so heavenly minded that we are no earthly good." My hope is that quote puts us at ease seeing that we are allowed to think about normal things in our normal days. I want to encourage you to spend some time thinking on God. Think and pray well and then record your thoughts (some may call that journaling).
A.W. Tower has a couple of helpful quotes to close:
- "One of the most important things about a person is what comes to their mind when they think on God."
- "A person's religion can only go as high as their thoughts are of God."
I love you guys and I pray that our minds are as the mind of Christ. all glory to God, heath
all glory to God, heath
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