2000-10-20 - Reclaiming Our Thought Life
2 Corinthians 10:5 We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.
Bringing all our thoughts into conformity with the will of God is a huge undertaking. Everyone will say that we ought to subject our words and actions to God's will, but our thoughts? Isn't this simply too great a task? Well, remember that Solomon reminds us that our, "plans are established by counsel." Proverbs 20:18 I wonder how many of us do as Paul says and take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. It is a real challenge to try to do this, but such challenges are the hallmark of the Christian life.
We are often fond of thinking that no one can invade our thought life. Therefore, we often live as if thoughts are a free zone to do as we please. But God knows our thoughts and He has said in His word, "Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things." Philippians 4:8
Part of guarding our heart from sin is looking purify our thought life. Again, Solomon is a great source of wisdom here, Proverbs 4:23, "Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life." We all watch over our houses, police watch over our towns, banks watch over our money, but we are told here to make sure we watch over our hearts. Part of this duty is the positive duty to maintain good thoughts, and the negative duty of stopping evil thoughts.
This task requires evaluation on a personal level. It is what is in mind in 1 John 3:3 where we read, "And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure." When we engage ourselves in such evaluation and transformation we begin to advance the process of making our thoughts, minds, and hearts to be weapons of righteousness rather than tools of sin. No one should think this is an easy task. Sin is entangling (Hebrews 12:1). Sin has a way of bringing us down from the lofty desires that lead us Heavenward.
How wonderful an example is given to us by David in Psalm 19:14, when he says, "Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer." We cannot live in two worlds here. Either our thoughts are being renewed, or they are heading toward corruption. Either we are purging our minds of evil thoughts, or we are coddling them and treating them like our own private pet sins. The Lord would have us reform our thoughts and renew our minds. In so doing we open ourselves up for God to bless these areas of our lives with His favor and mercy.
"Guard well your thoughts; our thoughts are heard in heaven." Owen Young
Soli Deo Gloria,