Self Control in your thinking Part two

Yesterday’s blog began the discussion of controlling our thoughts. God is quite able to judge our thoughts and intents even if we ourselves mess things up so much we cannot even fully figure out our motive. I don’t suppose that anyone who is more than 15 years old does not know the anguish of calling into question their own motives. At the end of the blog we introduced a passage from Mark.

And He said, “What comes out of a man, that defiles a man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man.”
(Mar 7:20-23)

Truly, we need to realize that the thoughts we have come from within our own selves. It is not that sometimes there are not influences that work on us (and Satan is a master at that) but the desires and wants are there to begin with and so it is within our own thinking that we have to begin the process of self-control. When James chastises his audience in chapter 4, he says:
What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? (Jas 4:1)

Esther was warned not to think in a certain way as she pondered the need to risk her life by visiting the king:

Then Mordecai told them to reply to Esther, “Do not think to yourself that in the king’s palace you will escape any more than all the other Jews.  (Est 4:13)

It is from the heart that these thoughts proceed, whether for good or bad, we generate them ourselves and as such need to be careful as to what we think. We might even find ourselves thinking thoughts that God, himself, had never thought:

Because the people have forsaken me and have profaned this place by making offerings in it to other gods whom neither they nor their fathers nor the kings of Judah have known; and because they have filled this place with the blood of innocents, and have built the high places of Baal to burn their sons in the fire as burnt offerings to Baal, which I did not command or decree, nor did it come into my mind— (Jer 19:4-5)

It should not surprise us then to know that God chooses by what is in the heart of man. As Samuel was sent to anoint one of Jesse’s sons the next king, he looked on the outside but God looked on the inside.

When they came, he looked on Eliab and thought, “Surely the LORD’s anointed is before him.” But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.”
(1Sa 16:6-7)

Today God also seeks those with the right heart, a heart like David’s who was chosen to be King. It isn’t that David was perfect, but his character was such that he was able to do God’s will in his lifetime and promote God’s kingdom. Jesus told the Samaritan woman:

But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” (Joh 4:23-24)

Among the many lessons we can glean from this verse, one is that God wants people who will serve Him from the heart (spirit) and in the way God wants (truth).

What we focus on is what we will wind up doing.  The person who has a heart of God is going to wind up doing the things God wants, not the things that they would otherwise do if left to their own devices. Tomorrow, Lord willing, we will look more at the idea of outside influences on our thoughts but to close up today, let me just remind everyone to think on those things that are God like. Yes, Paul did write Phil 4:8 to think about those things that are true and honorable, etc. We will discuss that later

But answer this question: What does God want us to focus on with our thoughts? Why is it important to think on the good things? What do Christians really think about?

Again: Be careful little mind what you think!


About Steven Sarff

If I were to offer any one piece of advice to one wishing to serve God, it would be to put Hebrews 11:6 and Acts 17:11 into action and let God guide you to grow in the grace and knowledge of His Son Jesus Christ.

Posted on May 14, 2012, in Christianity, Faith and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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