How to Test Your Thoughts
You will never be any better, wiser or happier than the thoughts that influence you. You say, ‘I can’t help it; these thoughts just come into my mind.’ Yes, you can! ‘The weapons we fight with…have divine power to demolish strongholds…we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ’ (vv. 4-5 NIV).
A ‘stronghold’ is a thought-pattern that controls you. It could be fear, greed, inferiority, lust, etc. It’s a ‘stronghold’ because it holds you strongly in its grip.
How do you break that grip?
With God’s Word. For example, when fear and inadequacy tell you you’re not good enough to succeed, become proactive and say, ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me’ (Philippians 4:13 NKJV).
If you’re immediate goal is to ‘feel good’, you’ll never develop self-control. ‘For the time being no discipline brings joy, but seems grievous and painful; but afterwards it yields a peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it…’ (Hebrews 12:11 AMP).
Discipline doesn’t bring immediate joy, but it brings lasting joy later on. Note the words ‘trained by it’. You must train your mind to go the right way; otherwise it’ll take you the wrong way. God says, ‘…I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life…’ (Deuteronomy 30:19 NKJV).
God gives you choices. But He won’t make your choices for you; you must do that. In order to walk in God’s blessing each day, you must choose the right thoughts each day, and the longer you keep doing it the easier it will become. You’ve just got to get through the ‘training’ period.
‘…We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.’ 2 Corinthians 10:5 NIV
ENCOURAGEMENT 4 TODAY
Psalm 40:1, 10, 16
I waited patiently for the Lord; He inclined to me & heard my cry. He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay, & set my feet upon a rock making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. I have not hidden your deliverance within my heart. I have spoken of your faithfulness & your salvation. May all who seek you rejoice & be glad in you; may those who love your salvation say continually “great is the Lord!” as for me, I am poor & needy, but the Lord takes thought of me. You are my help & my deliverer; do not delay, o my God!
Wait patiently on God! Cry to Him! He hears you & loves you! He is coming to pick you up! He will put a new song in your mouth! Speak of Him today! pour out your heart to God! He longs to be gracious to you! He will pick you up & wash you clean! Seek Him today! Never delay!