Sometimes it is hard to be a follower of Christ. Especially when his teachings can be hard for us to follow. Let’s take a look at a sermon Jesus gave…
Read Mark 7:1-23
Why is this teaching hard?
What is Jesus communicating here?
Am I really accountable for my thoughts?
Is it even possible to control my thoughts?
Let me share this verse with you.
Jeremiah 17:10, “I the LORD search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.”
Read also Psalm 7:9, Jeremiah 11:20, Jeremiah 20:12,
Rev 2:23b And all the churches will know that I am he who searches mind and heart, and I will give to each of you according to your works.
How do you feel about the fact that he searches your heart and tests your mind? Are you uncomfortable, afraid, think it is too much or even think the translation must be wrong?
Yet if we know that Jesus tells us that if we lust in our heart (our thoughts) it’s the same as doing the act, if we hate it is the same as murder.
On top of all of this we have been learning that negative thinking can cause health and emotional problems not just spiritual problems.
How do we deal with that?
Can we hide in a closet?
Isn’t it easier to explain these passages away?
Or better yet ignore them?
How can we be accountable for our thoughts?
Isn’t that too much? Too overwhelming?
How do I accept this Truth and not end up in a comatose state?
Why did Jesus teach this and what does he really expect me to do with this information?
If our hearts and mind is what we are going to be accountable for before Jesus, then we need to figure out what to do.
Neuroscientists, physiologists, biologists, all the scientists cannot identify where our mind is located because it is the eternal part of us, our personality, it is who we are. They are recognizing that our mind is what is controlling our brains not the other way around.
In other words: Our brains are not controlling our thoughts. Our ThoughtS ARE Controlling OUR BRAINS. The secular scientists won’t say what it is, but we know. They are talking about our souls. Our SOUL is our unconsciousness and our mind that is constantly thinking, even in our sleep.
And it is our souls that will stand before Jesus one day and look him in the eye. This is why Jesus said we are accountable for how we think. Why He elevated our thoughts. Again when Jesus came He taught us that it is not about our actions, it is about our heart and mind this is where we can begin the sin process and left unchecked it will make us unclean.
It is the part of us that will be judged according to His Word. This is the part of us that the enemy is battling for.
And why wouldn’t he? He knows the battle and the most strategic method to kill and destroy us. Is it not with lies? To influence the very essence of our being that will one day stand accountable with God?
This is why the scripture says, “Bring captive every thought unto Jesus Christ.”
Grab your Bibles, this Scripture needs to be seen in full context….
2 Corinthians 10:3-5
3 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 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, being ready to punish (avenge) every disobedience, when (soon, at that time) your obedience is complete.
Do you realize what this is saying? We are to take that argument, that pretense, that thought that is against the knowledge and truth of God, demolish it, take it captive to obedience to Christ.
How do we wage war? weapons not of this world
What do these weapons have? divine power
What do these weapons do? demolish arguments and pretenses against God
Where are these weapons used? in our every thought
Do you notice how verse 5 is one sentence, one thought? Up until recently I always saw this verse as having an answer for others who share their arguments and pretenses. Look closely at this verse, what is it really saying?
We must be willing to remove/demolish our disobedience in our thoughts so that soon we can have complete obedience in our minds and hearts.
How do we make this practical? Applicable to your life? How do we bring every thought captive?
You do this when you make your choices. When you choose to do what is right and reject to do the wrong. There are many choices we make throughout the day. Each choice has a Moment when we must decide.
In that Moment you have the ability to process multiple options from multiple realms, all at once. Your options come from the physical, emotional, spiritual, and physiological areas of your life. They can come:
- From your MEMORIES, with the emotions attached
- From outside of you, the input from the world
- From your desires, hopes, what you really want
- From expectations and desires of others
- From influences of the enemy, Satan with his demons
- or From God using His Word or His Spirit (as a believer, your spiritual being is in communion with God)
When you make your choice, AND act on it, that is when all possibilities collapse and one is actualized, brought it into reality. Action completes your thought process. This is when you choose to sin or not to sin. Acting on a choice you have made, finishes, finalizes, or completes your thought process.
For Example: I struggle with anxiety and fear which I know is not from God, nor is it what He has for me. So for 63 days I intentionally replaced the enemy’s lies that caused my anxiety and fears with several things:
God said He is my Provider
my High Tower
But the most powerful one, the one that works the best for me to cause the enemy to always flee, is when I stop and focus on God as my Father.
Jesus says in Matthew 7:11
“If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!”
Actions that conclude my thinking is when I speak thanksgiving to God, testify to others how God meets my needs, write in a journal the specifics of what He has done, and doing the very thing that caused my fear to rise in the beginning, such as speaking in front of a group of people.
Now it has become almost second nature. When anxiety starts to well up inside which instead of triggering fear and everything that comes with fear, it triggers within me how amazing and wonderful my Father in Heaven is, of His great love for me and I remember all the wonderful things He has done for me. THUS I EXPERIENCE GOD’S VICTORY IN MY LIFE!
Bottom line: The more times you ACT upon your godly choice, the more you solidify your thought process and take those thoughts captive for Christ. The reverse is also true. The more you give into the negative thinking the stronger its hold on you.
In other words, the more you make the right choice. The more VICTORY you will have in your life, the stronger you become in escaping your rut. Studies show it takes 63 days before that way of thinking becomes a part of your non-consciousness thought process, which will make it so integrated into your heart and mind, that it becomes your default thought.
From God’s Word we see:
- It is in our minds that we sin against God
- It is in our minds that we glorify God
- It is in our minds that we honor God
- It is in our minds where we hate
- It is in our minds where we love
- It is in our minds where we are holy and pure
- It is in our hearts that we believe Jesus is Lord
Does the scripture not say, “Believe in your heart and confess with your lips and you will be saved.” We believe within our minds and then act on it by confessing it. This solidifies the thought process and brings the victory. It is in our minds the greatest battlefield, because that is where we either trust and obey God, or we deny and oppose God.
And that is why I felt inspired by God to teach this. If our hearts and mind is what we are going to be accountable for before Jesus, then we need to acknowledge there is a fight for our minds, for our very thoughts. We need to learn how God has created and wired us so that we can powerfully and effectively obey God in this battlefield of our minds. We need to be equipped and trained to fight the enemy where he attacks us the most. Because this fight is continual and relentless, and only you and I have the free will and responsibility to decide whom we will serve. Will we serve God or not. What we choose to do with our thought process and how we act on those thoughts will make the difference in our lives, and consequently, in the lives of those around us. It will bring either blessings or a curses.
So today, choose life. Act on positive thoughts. DO NOT DWELL in those negative and sinful thoughts. Don’t let them take root and get a foothold. Instead be renewed by actively replacing any negative thought with one that glorifies God. Then ACT on your positive thoughts whether it is by praying, doing, writing, speaking or even praising God. In the end, you are not only responsible for, but also accountable for, your thoughts. So choose wisely.