We are taught in Philippians 2:5-8 to nave the mind of Christ, thus this issue of our thoughts is a critical one to consider. Just as in every issue of life, our understanding must be based on the absolute sufficiency of the inspired, inerrant, infallible, eternal Word of God. We know, from 2 Peter 1:3, that his Word provides us with all things that pertain to both life and godliness. Thus, there are no fears, no memories, no real or perceived guilt that is outside the power of the written Word to give victory over defeat. With that foundational presupposition, the questions to be answered, then, are ones of practical application.
Firstly, where do thoughts come from? Proverbs 4:23 teaches us that it us from our heart that all the issues of life flow. Our thoughts reveal our heart, and give opportunity to alter our mindset in ways that are consistent with that of the mind of Christ. Each one must be carefully assessed and then addressed from God's eternal perspective.
Secondly, what do thoughts accomplish? As we review the Philippians 2 passage, it is clear, as seen from Philippians 4, to see that our actions and words are actually driven by our thoughts. Therefore, our thoughts accomplish either flesh-based thoughts or Spirit-based ones. Galatians 2 gives clear examples of flesh-thought evidences, as well as Spirit-thought evidences.
Lastly, how are thoughts controlled? 2 Corinthians 10:5 provides us with a definitive answer to this often asked question. It is that we capture every thought and bring it into the obedience of Christ. So as we have a particular thought, we need to identify it, and check it out to see if it is in line with God's Word, and follows the teaching and modeling of our Lord Jesus Christ. For example, when a thought is of a critical nature, we recall we are to "judge not" (Matthew 7:1) and further, to remember that each one of us is personally accountable to God (Romans 14:12). Thereafter, we repent of that unbiblical thought, and restructure our thoughts into scriptural prayer for any violations of Scripture and God-honoring praise for His Word and work in our lives.
May God help all of us to glorify God in our thoughts.
(C) 2000, 2013 NA Collins
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