Self control in your thinking part 3

It is certainly true that what we focus our thinking energy on is the thing that is most likely to produce results. Have you ever had someone tell you “Don’t strike out”, “Don’t drop the ball”, “Don’t think about pink elephants crossing the San Francisco bridge”? Well, what are you thinking about right now?

However, when it comes to controlling thinking, it is not enough to simply say “don’t think about this” or “do think about that”. It is not just the thought. However, when you take that thought and allow it to capture your imagination, then you have something that, with focus, is going to yield results for either good or bad.

After the flood, Noah’s descendants decided to build a tower that would reach to the Heavens. They were wanting to build a name for themselves. To build a legacy! Sounds familiar. However, it is what God said about this plan of theirs that is of the most interest:

And the LORD said, “Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language, and this is only the beginning of what they will do. And nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them. (Gen 11:6)

Nor should it be impossible really, we are, after all, created in God’s image! The same race that wanted to build the tower of Babel, built a bridge to span the Golden Gate bay (Why? so those pink elephants that you are thinking about could cross it!), sent a man to the moon and has harnessed the power of that atom. Man has accomplished so much and is capable of accomplishing so much. What captures the imagination of our thoughts, controls us!

If we could only be captured by the good of doing the Lord’s will rather than the short sightedness of doing our own!

This is why Solomon warns his son of two things that will capture an imagination quickly: ill-gotten gain and a seducing woman.  In the first chapter, he says:

My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent. If they say, “Come with us, let us lie in wait for blood; let us ambush the innocent without reason; like Sheol let us swallow them alive, and whole, like those who go down to the pit; we shall find all precious goods, we shall fill our houses with plunder; throw in your lot among us; we will all have one purse“– my son, do not walk in the way with them; hold back your foot from their paths, for their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed blood. For in vain is a net spread in the sight of any bird, but these men lie in wait for their own blood; they set an ambush for their own lives. Such are the ways of everyone who is greedy for unjust gain; it takes away the life of its possessors.  (Pro 1:10-19)

These are the ones who promise riches from nothing, gain from taking advantage of others.  Such is the way of those who are greedy for unjust gain. We all know that it will not always catch up with you in this life but God is not mocked, whatever a man sows, that will he also reap. (Gal 6:7) Then he says:

For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching a light, and the reproofs of discipline are the way of life, to preserve you from the evil woman, from the smooth tongue of the adulteress. Do not desire her beauty in your heart, and do not let her capture you with her eyelashes; for the price of a prostitute is only a loaf of bread, but a married woman hunts down a precious life. (Pro 6:23-26)

Notice he talks about ‘desiring in the heart’ and being “capture(d) with her eyelashes”. Indeed, that which captures the imagination, controls the person.

Of course, there are other things that capture our imagination and lead us away from service to God.  Whether it is fame, fortune, women, wine or song, when you give into to those desires and dwell upon them in your mind, you will surely take a path that will lead you away from God. The first Psalm will do nicely to help remind us that the actions of a righteous man are good because of what he uses his mind to think about.

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.
(Psa 1:1-3)

Would you not rather delight in the law of the Lord? Meditate and think about His law instead of the worthless vain things this world offers? Find yourself being captured and captivated about going to Heaven and living with God? To long for that life which follows this one? Let us all try to say with Paul:

For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better.
(Php 1:21-23)

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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 15, 2012, in Faith and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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