At some point we’ve all had someone ask us, “What are you thinking about?” I for one am thankful people cannot read my mind. While I’d love to be able to say my thoughts are always pure and reflective of Christ, the truth is a war is often going waging within me.
You know what I mean, right? How many times have you held internal conversations with yourself? How many tongue lashings have you rehearsed in your mind?
What’s in my heart comes out in my thoughts. While people may not be able to read my thoughts, God can. One of my favorite scriptures is Psalm 51:10:
Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
When my heart is clean, my words and thoughts will be clean. When my thoughts are unclean and do not line up with the “new” creation God has birthed in me I have a choice. I can choose to “capture” my thoughts or I can allow them to capture me. But how do we capture our thoughts?
We must start by being attentive to our thought life. People often argue, “I can’t help how I feel,” which usually translates into, “I can’t control what I am thinking.” But we can! Start thinking about what you think about. When a troubling thought comes into your mind, ask yourself: (1) Where is this thought coming come? (2) Is this thought pleasing to God? (3) Is this thought healthy for my spiritual well being?
Replace Your Thoughts When you are having thoughts that you know are not from God, are not pleasing to Him or healthy for you replace them with what God says in His Word. Psalm 119:11 portrays the importance of meditating on the Word. “Thy Word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” This requires research. You know the areas you struggle with in your thought life. If you struggle with fear, find and memorize scriptures that combat fear. If you struggle with anger, find and memorize scriptures on overcoming anger. Whatever the issue, God’s Word IS the answer.
Journal If you really want to see the progression of learning to take your thoughts captive, journal. (1) Write down the thought you need to replace. (2) Write out the scriptures that address the issue. (3) Write out a prayer for God to cleanse your heart and renew your mind.
Philippians 4:13 tells us, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” That includes changing our thought life.
Pray: Father, I thank You that when I am weak, You are strong! Help me in my weakness Lord. Create in me a clean heart, O God and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Lord, quicken my spirit when my thoughts get off track. Guide me back to the path of purity. I commit to hid Your Word in my heart that I might not sin against You. Help me to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. AMEN