You are what you think about
For as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he. Proverbs 23:7
That’s pretty straight forward.
Pretty simple thought, but such a profound, universal truth.
It was at the heart of Brother Gearl’s message to us Sunday.
Our thoughts control us, motivate us, shape us, direct us, and identify us.
We are what we think.
We all struggle every day all day with what we think. And Satan likes nothing more than to disrupt our thinking, send us evil thoughts, hopeless thoughts, wasteful thoughts, distracting thoughts. And no place is a better target for him than our prayer time.
How many times do we begin to pray and feel the need to wander down some path of disobedient thinking and disorder? The bills, the hopelessness, the prodigal child, your daughter’s boyfriend, the laundry, the broken relationship with your sister.
It is totally frustrating. How often do we give up and mumble to ourselves, “I just can’t pray now. I can’t concentrate?” The demons dance. And God, in his infinite mercy and grace patiently waits for our return to fellowship with Him.
Paul taught us from 2 Corinthians that battles are going to come. Tribulations are certain. The enemy’s chief aim is to destroy us, so he’s going to create every opportunity to draw us into battle with him and his demons. If we are foolish enough to think we can live a battle-free life or that we can escape the battles by ourselves with our own weapons, we become fresh meat for Satan’s jaws of defeat. And his field of battle rests between our ears.
Brother Gearl gave us some great weapons to use on the battlefields of our minds. First, since we have Christ living in us, we can stand in confidence against the flaming arrows of those defeating thoughts. We can take up the shield of faith, as Paul writes in Ephesians 6. That shield is Christ.
We can also confront our thoughts. That’s what confidence allows us to do. Stand against the thoughts. When we put on the full armor of God in Ephesians 6, Paul teaches us that the purpose of the armor is to enable us to stand. He uses that word three times in the passage. Stand. Not dodge, not run from, not fight ourselves, but stand. And as we stand, Christ takes up the battle for us. When Israel faced certain defeat in 2 Chronicles 20, Jahaziel received a word from the Lord. Jahaziel told the people, “Do not fear or be dismayed because of this great multitude (this awful situation, this terminal disease, this financial crisis, this hopelessness, this despair) for the battle is not yours but God’s…you need not fight in this battle. Station yourselves, stand and see the salvation of the Lord on your behalf.”
How do we confront our thoughts that wage shock and awe against us every day? How do we unleash God’s power in our minds? With obedience.
What happens when we allow Christ to be our point man? 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. 2 Corinthians 10:5. God equips us, Brother Gearl taught us, but we must engage the enemy in our battle through Christ, not our own weapons, and access God’s divine weapon of obedience.
Then Christ can turn those negative, destructive thoughts into personal compassion and spiritual courage and deliver us from Satan’s evil intent. Then we will be at peace and return to living for and serving God, our minds clear and focused once again on Christ.