Have you ever heard the saying, “The battle is in your mind?” I know I have… many times, and I believe it! I’ve come to learn that before something becomes an action, it initially stems from a thought. For instance, if you begin thinking about going to the mall continuously and letting it marinate in your mind for hours on end, eventually, you may end up going to the mall. Why? Because you thought about it for so long, that it finally became an action in your life. That’s just how it works! However, what about that negative thought that marinates in your mind that eventually results in a negative action? I would guess that doesn’t feel too good, especially as a Christian. Well, that’s what I want to talk to you about today in this 3 Part Series on, “How to Walk in Victory!” And Part 1 of this series begins with, “Managing Your Thought Life.” So let’s dive in!
For starters, if we’re going to talk about the thought life, then we’re going to have to bring in the Holy Spirit, because He plays a major role here. The Holy Spirit serves as our guide through life, especially when it concerns our thoughts. Hence, when you begin thinking about a wrong thought, usually the Holy Spirit will whisper to you, “Don’t do that. Or…don’t say that.” He’s very gentle and speaks only the truth. Jesus said that He would leave us a Comforter (Counselor), which is the Holy Spirit and that He would lead us into all truth (John 14:16-17). Our job is to follow and obey, because God, through His Spirit is only going to instruct us to do what’s best for our very soul.
Do we hit the nail on the head every time? Of course not, but when we do slip up in our thought life, we must repent…immediately. Let me give you an inside track. Recently, I went to the store to pick up some groceries. Now, my husband only gave me a certain amount to spend (any of you who are married know that this was very humbling). Nonetheless, I went shopping and I had a good time! However, when I got to the register, it was a few dollars over (and of course I had a debit card). Now, I looked at that overextended amount, but I also thought in my mind, “Well, it’s only a few dollars over…not much.” Do you see the deception from the enemy planting a seed of disobedience in my mind? This is where the battle began!
Now at this point, everything was neatly snuggled in their bags and in my basket. Yet, as I grabbed my receipt and was about to walk away, I heard the Holy Spirit say, “Obedience is better than sacrifice.” (1 Samuel 15:22). This meant that I had a choice to make. I thought to myself, “Clearly, that was the word of God.” Remember the Holy Spirit does not speak of his own, but from God. So as I sat in my SUV with a trunk full of groceries, I couldn’t shake the fact that I’d disobeyed my husband by a few dollars. I sat there for a moment and thought about what could I return to make this right? It was now going to be even more humbling to return some items that I’d just purchased for no other reason, than obedience. With that being said, I hopped out of the truck, brought some items back, and made it right with God. Whew! And do you know, when I got back home one of the items that I’d returned was already there! Nobody but GOD! Praise Him!
Listen, in this real-life scenario, I had a choice to either adhere to the Spirit of God and obey or quench it. The Bible says in 1 Thessalonians 5:19, “Quench not the Spirit.” Meaning – don’t intentionally disregard the Holy Spirit, because He’s only there to help. Now, thank God I made the right choice to obey, because if not, there could’ve been an unnecessary argument later with my husband or a missed blessing of some sort. To me, it just wasn’t worth it. And I wanted to please my Father in heaven. And I believe you want to do the same.
So with that being said, this may not be your specific battle, but maybe it could be something along the lines of impure thoughts, jealousy, envy, or doing something that you know in your heart and Spirit that God said “No” about. Whatever it is…you must make the choice to replace your negative thoughts with positive ones, while adhering to the Holy Spirit’s prompted direction.
What happens if you mess up? Repent and ask God’s forgiveness. 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” So you see the key factors are confession and recognizing that you have messed up, and need to make it right. A great way to manage your thought life is to find some Scriptures on your problem areas, meditate on them, and obey them when the Holy Spirit convicts you. This is a great way to overcome negative thoughts and manage your thought life well.
I’ll leave you with this…”think about what you’re thinking about.” If it’s not good, try applying one of my favorite Scriptures that has helped me many times: 2 Corinthians 10:5, “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” Another good one is Philippians 4:8, “…Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” Remember, manage your thoughts with the word and yield to the Holy Spirit (your guide). And then you will experience true VICTORY!
Tune in next week for Part 2 of “How to Walk In Victory” – When Dealing with Difficult People…
Remember, Jesus is coming soon. Let’s get ready from the inside out!
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