The statement: “As a man thinks in his heart so he is,” describes what is accepted as characteristic of any person – you are what you think. As much as a plant is a product of seeds, so a man is a product of his thoughts, that is what James Allen would have said, a British philosopher of the 1800’s. He also said: “A man is literally what he thinks, his character being the complete sum of all his thoughts.”
I heard it once said that “we choose our thoughts, our thoughts determine our actions, our actions form our habits, our habits make up our character and our character creates our destiny.” We are, where our thinking has taken us, our circumstances are a product of our thoughts.
So, it follows that if you can change a person’s thoughts, you change everything about them and touch their circumstances. If our thoughts are the origin of everything; what better place for the devil to start? If he controls our minds, he controls everything about us.
So when 2 Cor 10:3-5 describes our spiritual battle, it does not describe a battle like we would know here on earth, but one where the battle is taking place in the mind. Where the goal of our weapons is to “demolish arguments” (rational thinking, theories and reasoning) and “every pretention” (irrational thinking) or imaginings that “set themselves up against” knowledge. Knowledge of what? Knowledge of the truth of God.
The battle for your mind is on. Thinking produces thinking patterns, some of which become thinking habits, these translate into motivations, which result in actions and words that shape our lives. Motivations give rise to emotion, which combined with daily events result in yet more thoughts and thinking patterns. As our thoughts spin around in our heads, the devil waits for an appropriate foothold that we provide him. Then he takes his lies, his half truths and bends them to suit his purpose, shaping our thoughts for the purposes of destruction. 1 Peter 5:8
“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”
Which is why, the Lord warns us not to conform to this world and its thinking, but to be transformed by the “renewing of our minds” (Rom 12:2)and why we as believers “take captive every thought that sets itself up against God’s truth” (2 Cor 10:5)
Jesus tells us in Matt 12:34 and Luke 6:45, that if we want to know what is in our hearts (in other words, what we really believe and don’t just give intellectual assent to) it will be revealed by what comes out of our mouths. Furthermore, that the good planted in us, will bring forth good and evil planted in us, will bring forth evil.
From thought life follows our actions; motivation; belief and purpose in life.
Being circumspect, is also considering my thought life. What is my thought-life based on? Scripture actually tells us what to think about:
Phil 4:8 “Finally brethren (sisters), whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy – MEDITATE ON THESE THINGS.”
- Have you ever spent time thinking about your thinking?
- Have you ever considered that your mouth reveals how you actually think and believe?
- Have you ever considered that who you are and where you are in life, is shaped by how you think?
- Have you ever considered that your mind can be the most vulnerable place for spiritual attack?
Father, thank you that Your Word reveals truth to us. Help me to be mindful of how I think and what I think in order to identify wrong thinking. Reveal to me what I really believe in my heart so that I can correct my thinking according to the truth. From this day forth, I declare that I will meditate on truth and allow truth to guide my thinking processes.
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