What was the last thought that crossed your mind?
Take a moment to consider that one.
What is it positive or negative? Encouraging or discouraging? Life-giving or destructive? Or maybe it was just plain random. We all have our moments, right?
Our thought life is a curious blend of both welcomed and unwelcomed thoughts. One second, we're thanking God for His provision in our lives and the next, we're fretting over how we're going to pay the bills that refuse to stop building up no matter how much we beg them not to.
At any given time, our minds can be consumed by a whole host of thoughts that fall somewhere along the spectrum of good and bad. I believe that we can't control the thoughts that drop into our minds - emerging from past experiences, the media, conversations, emotions, convictions and countless other sources. What we can do is choose what we allow to consume our minds - that is, the thoughts we hold on to.
I'll admit, I've been struggling in this area more recently than ever before. In the wake of a pandemic unwilling to budge but is rather sinking its teeth deeper into its prey, whilst I continue to navigate my healing journey - the enemy has been waging war with my thoughts. The peace of God that I have held on to like a baby fights for its dummy, has been under threat.
Worry and fear have snuck their way into my mind as I find myself pondering the "what ifs" being among the most vulnerable to this ferocious pestilence (thanks Psalm 91 for that choice of words). I'm unfamiliar with these gatecrashers threatening to rob me of my peace mere moments after I've fought the biggest battle of my life to date. As I've distractedly allowed them in, they've triggered physical consequences that remind me of my present weakness, further endangering my thought life.
The good news? I am not my thoughts. You are not your thoughts.
The even better news? We can overcome our thoughts by subjecting them to the Word of God.
In this season, as my challenges come to a head, I'm grateful for all the scriptures I've memorised over the years, now etched into my mind and heart. Though they reside there, to truly overcome the thoughts that threaten to steal my peace and stop me from continuing to take steps forward in God's purposes, requires intentional prayer and meditation through these scriptures.
Maybe you're in a similar place. The current pandemic and its impact on you and your loved ones has created a level of mental and emotional pressure you're unaccustomed to. Scrolling through social media hasn't helped. Turning on the news hasn't helped. Talking to others hasn't helped. In fact, some of these things may even add to your mental stress.
When the enemy is waging war with your thoughts, fight back with the most powerful weapon in your arsenal - the Word of God. Replace the lies of the enemy with God's truth, over and over again.
Here are some scriptures I like to use when I'm praying over my mind and speaking truth into my thought life. I hope they help you too.
Pin for later:
#1 - Submit your thoughts to Jesus
"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." 2 Corinthians 10:5
#2 - Remember you have the mind of Christ
"for, 'Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?' But we have the mind of Christ." 1 Corinthians 2:16
#3 - Give it to God
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7
#4 - Focus on heavenly things
"Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things." Colossians 3:2
#5 - Allow God's Spirit to govern your mind
"The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace." Romans 8:6
#6 - Receive God's promise of clear thinking
"For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but one of power, love, and sound judgment." 2 Timothy 1:7
#7 - Renew your mind with God's Word
"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." Romans 12:2
#8 - Remember it all makes sense to God
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:8-9
#9 - Guide your thoughts
"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." Philippians 4:8
#10 - Receive God's peace
"I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world.” John 16:33
Do you have any scriptures that have helped guide your thought life in this season or previous seasons? Let me know by leaving a comment!