“To renew your mind is to involve yourself in the process of allowing God to bring to the surface the lies you have mistakenly accepted and replace them with truth.” – Charles Stanley
“If your mind is filled with the Word of God, then it can’t be filled with impure thoughts.” – David Jeremiah
Crazy thoughts…we all have them from time to time.
Consuming thoughts… those are the ones that won’t be denied.
Unrelenting thoughts… that won’t let you sleep.
Private thoughts… that stubbornly fuel emotions of lust, anger, fear, sorrow, and even hopelessness.
Infected thoughts… that are often destructive in relationships with those closest to us, even our relationship with God.
“Anxious thoughts (that) multiply within me…” (Psalm 94:19 NAS)
The scary part? When we start believing them. “For as a man thinks within himself, so is he.” (Proverbs 23:7 NAS)
The antidote? “…do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” (Philippians 4:6 ESV)
However, we must not miss vs. 8 which begins with the word “Finally”— a word which could be translated “From this time forward”. “Finally, (from this time forward) brothers, (and sisters) 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.” (ESV)
That’s a bunch of “whatevers” to think about.
What you fill your mind with will largely determine what type of thoughts you have. What you put in – comes out…
And there is a challenge; the “evil one”, known as the “father of lies”, constantly and consistently bombards our minds. And his mind games become a battlefield.
Paul said we should take “every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:5 NAS) Knowing it and doing it are two different things.
Speaking of war, when Paul delineates and lists the “full armor of God” used to “stand firm against the schemes of the devil” in Ephesians 6, he only records one offensive weapon – “And take…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” (vs. 17 NAS)
The spiritual weapon given to us by the Lord, to battle the formation of these debilitating and controlling thoughts, is God’s word.
Flip back a page to Ephesians 5. Paul says that Christ sanctifies and cleanses the body of Christ “by the washing of water by the word” (vs. 26 ESV)
Our thought life can, and will be washed clean by soaking and meditating in His written word.
Spend time reading the Bible. Study it. Memorize it. Saturate your thoughts with it. Immerse your soul in it. Drink deeply of its truth. Let the word of God dwell in you richly.
As you do this, “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4: 7 ESV)
It will turn your thought life around.
Tim Clinton, Ed. D., LPC, LMFT (The College of William and Mary) is President of the nearly 50,000-member American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC), the largest and most diverse Christian counseling association in the world. He is Professor of Counseling and Pastoral Care, and Executive Director of the Center for Counseling and Family Studies at Liberty University. Licensed in Virginia as both a Professional Counselor and Marriage and Family Therapist, Tim now spends a majority of his time working with Christian leaders and professional athletes. He is recognized as a world leader in faith and mental health issues and has authored over 20 books including Breakthrough: When to Give In, When to Push Back. Most importantly, Tim has been married 36 years to his wife Julie and together they have two children, Megan, who recently married Ben Allison and is practicing medicine in dermatology, and Zach, who plays baseball at Liberty University. In his free time, you’ll find him outdoors or at a game with family and friends.