Self control in your thinking part four
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.
It is the imaginations of the heart that we need to bring into captivity, the thought that exalts itself against the knowledge of God. Whatever philosophy, practice, desire, plan, idolatry, pagan or Gnostic consideration, we need to bring it all under captivity and God gives us the tools and weapons to do so. Romans talks about those who refuse to have God in their knowledge, even though they knew God the did not honor Him as God and became futile in their thoughts, so God turned them over to their own imaginations and let them do what they wanted to. (see Romans 1:18ff) The flood resulted one time when man got so bad, but the world is reserved for fire this time around.
Man got so bad “that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. ” (Gen 6:5) Really, it doesn’t have to get that bad. Any thought or imagination that prevents God from being glorified in our life, that does not promote the Kingdom of God, that prevents or stops us from being zealous for good works, are thoughts and imaginations we need to bring under control.
Sometimes, fear tries to capture our thoughts. I am sure that you know the acronym for fear. F.E.A.R. False Expectations Appearing Real!. Mark Twain said something like this: 98% of everything I have been afraid would happen, never happened” And so it is in my life and I am certain in yours as well. However, I know I have put a lot of worry and concerns to events in the past and many, if not most, of them never materialized.
Jesus told the parable of the talents and introduced the three servants with these words:
And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey. (Mat 25:15)
Then when the last one came to give an account.
“Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’ (Mat 25:24-25)
Notice that this last servant was “afraid” and in his fear, he did nothing. NOTHING! He didn’t even put it in a bank account and let it earn interest. If you read the next verse, you will probably get the impression, as I do that the Master would not have been upset if he had done only that. Even at a meager .25% interest, it would have grown something. Still, the Master had given a responsibility according to his ability. It was FEAR that kept him from doing what he could with the little the Master had given him.
Fear can be conquered by certainty. Two examples (though there are many more) from the Scriptures:
Shadrach, Meshach, Abed-Nego, Daniel’s three friends were put in a situation in which they had to choose to serve God or man. Told that they needed to bow down to an idol that the King had set up, they refused. This did not set well with the King and in his anger, he brought them before him and gave them a 2nd chance. Their answer shows their certainty:
“O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.” (Dan 3:16-18)
The confidence and love of God allowed them to respond, not in a spirit of insubordination but simply stating the facts that God comes first.
Moses also was not afraid.
By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured as seeing Him who is invisible. (Heb 11:27)
A true love of God casts out fear. When we have our eyes focused on the goal and know that this life is temporary, we can then use our life to serve God better. When we have no fear of death, we are able to let go of other fears more easily and put our lives and plans into God’s hands.
My dear friends and readers. Fear not! Be careful, little mind, what you think.
Posted on May 16, 2012, in Christianity, Faith and tagged christianity, faith, False Expectations Appearing Real, fear, imagination, Love, parable of the talents, religion, self control, spirituality, thoughts, weapons of our warfare. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.