True peace starts with my thought life,
regardless of my circumstances.
Philippians 4:4-9 (NLT)
Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon.
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank Him for all He has done. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
And now, dear brothers and sisters let me say one more thing as I close this letter. 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. Keep putting into practice all that you have learned from me and heard from me and saw me doing, and the God of peace will be with you.
As a physical and spiritual being we are receiving input on several different levels or from different sources all at the same time. Science even claims that 95% of all communication is non-verbal. As a result we are having thoughts that we are not always the originator of. Since we have no control over the thoughts we have in our head we are not accountable for them. However, we are accountable for the thoughts we choose to capture and dwell on.
A part of our thought life is our imagination which is the gift of our soul. Our thought life is directed by the treasures we hold in our heart; our desires, values and beliefs. What we treasure drives and directs our imagination and affects our perception of reality. Our imagination is key to how we address life's opportunities for our hopes and our dreams. This makes our imagination something our enemy wants to influence and thereby control.
Satan does not have the power to create and even though he is the current ruler of this world he has to use what is already here. He and his followers cannot read our thoughts. They do know how to manipulate the human soul as they can put thoughts in our head. Since we are made in the image of God we have an imagination and a want for pleasure just as God, our Creator does. These are God given attributes; therefore, the enemy has to pervert them in our understanding of what they are in order to use them against us.
The way of the enemy is to plant a thought to direct our thinking giving us something to dwell on like a recent wound, a slight, an injustice or even a memory that brings up the bitterness and unforgiveness in our heart. Unfortunately, we often run with that thought of our own accord in a downward spiral towards emotional meltdown leading to internal and outward destructive tendencies. These open the door to question the truths and promises of God. “What if..? Did God really say that? Do you really think God will do that for you?"
Fear and faith essentially have the same definition in that both have an expectation or an anticipation of something that has not happened yet. Thoughts that are fear driven always lead to death motivating us to make choices so we don't die instead of actually living. Thoughts that are faith driven always lead to a life filled with hope in the present and faith in a future we cannot yet see. Hope is not wishful thinking. Biblical hope is having a sure certainty of the outcome.
Since Jesus is our hope, the outcome of our hope today is grace. The challenge is to accept our part in each situation and circumstance trusting God for the results. It is when we try to define what grace looks like that we are setting ourselves up for disappointments and allowing the seed of doubt to enter our mind. This is the trap that channels our imagination to become death focused instead of using our imagination for the possibilities of life, recognizing and receiving the goodness and blessings our amazing, loving and faithful God has prepared for us.
As a person believes in their heart, so are they. We can be held in bondage or set free by the truths we know. Taking ownership of God's truths that do not change regardless of political agendas, societies preferences or new knowledge is our choice. Choosing to believe in Jesus as the Lord of our life the false truths we have held in our heart are being replaced with who God says we are and His reality for us.
What is the Holy Spirit saying to me…?
How does today’s message apply to my life?…my beliefs?