An onslaught of thoughts, words, visuals, sounds and images all blast us daily, hourly, each moment of the day and every waking second. But will we and should we even allow them access?
Let me ask you a question,would you allow a thief in to vandalize your home and rob you blind?
Duh, I know the answer, no way!
Yet we allow this to happen with our thoughts all the time.
God’s Word has much to say about our thoughts and what we should think about. Allow me to share a few verses here, plus add a true story illustration, then offer some personal ways I combat toxic thoughts.
“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 NIV
AND this massively important one:
“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5 NIV￼
I know people who are bombarded by their own negative and worst-case scenario thoughts. These thoughts, unchecked, can wreak-havoc￼ and vandalize￼ a life.
I’ve witnessed how these thoughts played out to an imaginary end, left the individual robbed blind of the present precious moments as well as the immediate future. (Usually, this robbery is at the hands of FEAR about things that NEVER even occurred. This is what God’s word calls speculations.)
Sometimes speculations creep in or a spirit of dread makes its entrance on the scene and the thoughts become very toxic, even fatalistic.
Whoa! I realize it’s not always this simple, but we must stop the toxic thoughts. We must recognize and arrest the thoughts and stop them from coming in or make them obedient to Christ, otherwise these thoughts, carried it out through the full gestation period, can birth into a full blown movie of a horrifying future. This is not from God. This is a “Spirt of dread.”
We, dear believers, have the mind of Christ. He’s given us a sanctified mind and he’s also told us what types of things we can allow our minds to think about. Thus the above verse Philippians 4:8. Which mentions things that are LOVELY.
Whatever is lovely? That word, lovely my friend used often. She moved miles away so I don’t get to see her regularly but I do see things, hear of events or moments in life and just like my friend, I utter, “Oh, that’s lovely.”
Let me come at this another way, because of the whole COVID-19 coronavirus in the global pandemic, I have had to scan my forehead to take my temperature, fill out a sheet and record my temperature, wipe down everything I’ve touched and fold and place my completed sheet in a sealed, locked box.
This all must take place before going any farther into my own church. As I enter to rehearse for the worship team, I need to complete these steps so that I am considered “safe” to come in, mingle with people, and not spread the virus.
Here’s my point.
What if we took the temperature of our own thoughts, so to speak. What if our thoughts had to go through a screening process. What if our thoughts had to go through a check point before they were allowed to come in and interact with our lives.
What if toxic thoughts that carry the wrong temperature or a potential virus were examined, taken captive and made to obey Christ and were not allowed in. I think that’s what it means to take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ. That’s what it means to consider whether it fits with the Phillipians 4:8 passage or not.
Related to taking thoughts captive and making them obedient to Christ, here’s what I try to do. I carry the thought way out to a future point, farther out than when I first received the thought. Then…
I ask some questions:
- Whose voice is assigned to this thought? (Is it the Accusor’s or the Comforter’s voice? Should it be allowed in?)
- What is the far-reaching end of this thought?
- Is it hopeful?
- Does this condemn me?
- Do I have hope when I think about this in this way? (God is the God of all hope.)
- Is this lovely?
- Is this true, noble, right, pure, lovely and admirable? ￼
Finally, let me leave you with some lovely photos from my back deck and a few “lovely” thoughts about Father God:
- God is good
- He is a good Dad, He is going before you even right now.
- He promises never to leave you, never to forget about you.
- He invites you to cast your cares on Him, because He cares for you.
- He warns and reassures us all the time. (Warning: The enemy comes to kill, steal and destroy, Reassurance: BUT Jesus said,” I have come to give you life and life to the full.”)
Wrapping this up…
Don’t open the door to the wrong voice, don’t allow the enemy to vandalize your day, home, or your life and never allow him to rob you blind.
God is a giver of every good and perfect gift. And we can all be gracious receivers. Now that’s a “lovely” thought! ￼
Want to join my cute honey and me in 2021 for our trip to Israel? 🇮🇱 Check out link below: