May 8, 2005
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth
not to be ashamed rightly dividing the word of truth. II Timothy 2:15
Thinking: A Different Perspective
by Jack Northart
Most Christian people spend most of each day going about their business not really considering what they are thinking about. They sort of drift through life on "autopilot" and whatever circumstances happen to them they accept and live with. Their life sort of takes a "bouncing ball" approach; whatever it hits was God's Will for them. This may be true for people who don't know or understand God's Word, but for those who want to know, the Bible clearly spells out where our thoughts are to be focused, and what the corresponding results will be.
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
The word "conformed" means "fashioned or shaped." We are not to be fashioned to this world and all it's negatives, but we are to be transformed by the renewing of our minds to the positives given in God's Word. In other words, it is a deliberate act that one must take to turn away from the fashioning of world and be transformed by the renewing of our minds. It takes thinking and focusing on a new thought from the Word of God. It takes acting on what this verse says, and the end result is that we may prove what is the good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.
I Corinthians 9:24-27
Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.
The analogy is that of a foot race in the ancient Olympic games. This level of competition requires day by day commitment, training, self-control and self-discipline, with a knowledge of the rules of the sport so as not to be disqualified. The end result of striving for the mastery is a crown. In the Olympic games, it was a corruptible crown. To compete in the spiritual games takes the same type of commitment in order to win an incorruptible crown.
This again, takes a deliberate effort. Just as the physical athelete must realize that training and winning does not come automatically, so must the spiritual athelete realize that there is effort in training and winning in the spiritual competition.
If we are going to strive for the mastery, we are going to have to take this section of God's Word to heart. Our lives will not be subject to the whims of circumstance, but rather a glory to God. There is a principle involved here. God has given us a free will to choose what we think about. As we think about the many blessings that God has poured out to our lives, we will begin to see them come into manifestation. However, as simple as this concept is, more often than not, we end up thinking more about what we donít want than what we want.
It is simple to change what we think about, but we must catch ourselves when we are taking mindless directions and get them back to the thoughts of God's Word. The more we practice doing this, the better we get at keeping the mind where we want it to be.
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
Teaching a dog to "stay" takes a great deal of patience and consistency. Sometimes we have to look at teaching our minds to "stay" on God with the same patience and consistency, but the results are very beneficial to us: "perfect peace."
Another benefit of keeping our thoughts stayed on God is that it builds trust in Him.
He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the LORD.
To be fixated on something means that you are totally focused, totally aware. When we are fixed on God, it is much easier to trust Him and believe Him. When our heart is fixed, it is not on "autopilot," drifting through space and time, waiting for the next negative thing to happen. It is clearly focused, thinking about the promises of God.
Think what you think about. Take stock in your ability to change what you feed your mind and then think the thoughts of God's Word.
My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh. Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
The heart is the innermost part of the mind. The heart is where our believing emanates from.
As we attend unto God's Word it will bring life and health to us. Furthermore, we are to keep or guard our heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life. Again, these things will take a concerted effort.
I Thessalonians 2:13
For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.
The Word of God works effectually in those who believe. It starts with one thought, then another, then another, until our lives are effective witnesses for the Lord Jesus Christ. With God's Word alive and real in our lives, we may again prove what it that good and acceptable and perfect will of God in our day and time.
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