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Mind Your Mind, Part 1: Thinking What is TRUE...

“Thoughts create landscapes and words build worlds.”

You and I will live like who we believe we are, and we will act on what we think about. There is no more urgent battlefield than the battlefield of our minds, and there is perhaps no more powerful factory for what will soon shape our reality than the thoughts we silently employ within. Jesus said, “out of the overflow of our hearts,” (that is, what we allow to take up residence in our mind, will, and emotions) “our mouths will speak.” In Philippians 4, we find 8 incredible security stations God desires to set up at the gate of our minds so that we arrest broken thoughts. They also act as maturity stations where we can be transformed by the renewing of our minds:

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Philippians 4:8

In a desire to be intensely practical, I will share each of these individually over the coming weeks. I urge you to slow down and make space for internal evaluation. What we think shapes the lives we lead and the legacies we will ultimately leave for those coming behind us. May we think beautiful, powerful, world-creating thoughts! 

PART 1: “Think on what is TRUE…”

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true…”

QUESTION 1: “Is it True?”

True: “Clearly seen, evident, and in agreement with reality."

We have a tendency to trust our feelings as an honest filter for reality. The problem is that our feelings are muddy waters. On one side, they host memories of God’s faithfulness, encouraging words spoken over us, and the soundtracks of our greatest victories. On the other, they harbor our doubts, the weight of our unhealed wounds, and the fear-based projections of our severely limited vantage point.

Our feelings can be a tremendous gift, but they are a terrible guardian

The enemy of our souls is called “the father of lies” and the “accuser” of our hearts (See John 8:44, Revelation 12:10). He is not a creator, but a de-creator, wishing only to twist and distort what God has spoken so that chaos reigns. He comes to us just as he did with Adam and Eve in the Garden and Jesus in the desert: through the power of sinister suggestion. Here’s how it works. As followers of God, we are called to yield control, trusting God to lead us. But there’s a lot about our present path that feels uncertain. So, the enemy begins to whisper that perhaps God’s way cannot be trusted or that He is holding at bay something necessary for our blessing. 

Perhaps He is asleep at the wheel. 

Perhaps we need to take things in our own hands. 

This is where many of our fears, doubts, and worries are born. We begin to lean upon our feelings as a better source of truth than our Father.

Beyond this, the enemy is an opportunist, eager to capitalize on every unhealed wound that we carry within. He loves to lure us to replay our broken laments over and over in our minds, each time planting counterfeit “truth” that we accept as reality. Sometimes, it comes through hurtful things people spoke over you that weren’t ever true. Sometimes, it is neglect or some kind of abuse that came to shape who you believe you are and the story you think you are in. If there is an area of your life where you “know” the truth of God in your head, but cannot seem to allow it to take up residence in your heart, it is likely there is a wound that your Father longs to heal.

The first security point God gives us is His Truth. “You will know the Truth and the Truth will set you free (John 8:32).” By the way, “Truth” is a person and His name is Jesus (see John 14:6). How do we start to think beautiful thoughts?

We give Jesus alone the authority to define truth and the access to bring our thoughts under it. 

We admit how we feel, but then we submit to what HE says is true.

“Search me, O God, and know my heart!

Try me and know my thoughts!

See if there is any grievous way in me, 

And lead me in the way everlasting!” 

Psalm 139:23-24

That said, “truth” isn’t just a bouncer at the club to keep bad thoughts out. It is also your most trusted friend, laying a foundation inside the walls of your mind; a sturdy floor where you can dance with Jesus in delight! We access this as we practice meditating on our God. Through the years, I’ve seen a number of Jesus lovers get nervous about the word, “meditation,” as a practice belonging to New Age mystics. Actually, it is God’s idea.

“Blessed is the one…whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night!” Psalm 1:1-2

“Meditate” means, “to contemplate, consider, digest, and reflect; to let something stir and grow within; to give something your focus and imagination.” Every day, there are a thousand voices vying for our attention and the loudest voice wins. Meditation is nothing more than a slow and steady gaze that seeks to let God shape the situation before you.

Perhaps right now you are feeling, “that sounds great, but what if I can’t discern what God is saying?” Here’s my question. Are you willing to set aside sufficient uninterrupted times of intimacy to sit at His feet? We learn to recognize His voice through proximity over time. Here are three places you can start. 

1. Find Truth through Time in God’s Word 

The Bible refers to itself as the “more sure word of prophecy,” the plumb line through which we measure every other voice we believe to be the voice of our Father. Jesus is the central figure of His Word. Look for Him in every passage and don’t underestimate the power of regular times of personal study in His Word. 

2. Find Truth through Two-Way Prayer

By “two-way prayer,” I mean talking to God…and making space to listen. It is crucial that we “cast our cares” at His feet, remembering how much He cares for us. But I would submit that it is even more important to make time every day for God to speak to your heart. When we will “be still,”we will remember that “He is God.” 

3. Find Truth through Spiritual Community 

We are not lone rangers, but parts of a global “body,” where “the eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I don’t need you.’” The enemy knows that all he needs to do to get us to wander or wail is to isolate us. “It is not good for the man to walk alone.” It’s about a LOT more than marriage. Find the people who breathe wind into your sails. Find friends who walk alongside you when you’re struggling and who are willing to challenge you when you’re straying.

As we prioritize these postures, we will begin to taste the sweet fruit of our Savior’s promise: “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free!”

Thinking Thoughts that are TRUE:

Arresting Untrue Thoughts:

1. What unhealed wounds am I carrying around that filter how I see truth? (Traumatic events, hurtful words spoken, lies that feel like they are true)

2. Who is a safe person I can invite to help me walk in greater healing in this area, learning to trust what God says above my feelings?

Thinking What is True :

1. What would a regular rhythm of time at God’s feet look like practically? (Don’t get caught up in a need to make it perfect. Simply set aside regular undistracted time and START. He will meet you there!) 

2. Who are my “iron sharpening iron” community? 

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1 ความคิดเห็น

Wow! This is some good meat to chew on. I’ll be chewing on this for awhile. Thank you 😊. Also I agree with meditation. learned in GSSM about contemplative prayer & yes it’s the bomb. Very intimate & mind transforming. Also a deeper level of yielding. love it!

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