“Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”” Mt. 22:37-40
“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” Phil. 4:8
I plunked down on my bed utterly exhausted. Confession. It was only just after noon just halfway through the week. What can I say? I had been working really hard at my writing that week, my streets ministry work was moving forward, being in New York City for a season was definitely taking its toll, and of course I had the ministry five special needs and senior rescued dogs to care for. And I hadn’t been getting enough sleep not to mention rest during the day. But as soon as I plunked down on my belly on the little bed, that’s when I immediately began thinking about someone who had been hurting me for years. And not only wouldn’t stop hurting me, but refused to acknowledge how she was hurting me. Within just moments, my thoughts were off to the races. That’s exactly when the Spirit of God threw back the curtain and stepped boldly onto the stage of my mind.
“Do those thoughts honor me?” the Lord spoke to my heart.
“No,” I confessed.
“Then get rid of them,” He said frankly.
Then off He went. No more voice. Just quiet. Because no sooner had He spoken than I knew two things. I needed to get rid of the thoughts – immediately. And I needed to get up out of bed and sit down at my computer to write this message.
I have spent decades of my life letting my thoughts control my life. Letting them control my feelings. Letting them control my speech. Letting them control my actions. Even when they weren’t honoring to God. As though they have had a life of their own. As though I have no say in the matter. As though my only job is to let them run and run and run no matter how displeasing they may be to God.
But not only are we responsible for our thoughts, but one of the fruit borne of the Spirit of God living inside Christ’s followers is self-control (Gal. 5:23). And we are to take control over our thoughts and do as the Spirit of God told me that day. Get rid of them when they’re not honoring to God. Instead of letting my thoughts control me in those minutes, I obeyed the Lord. I got rid of them. And moved on with my life. The life that belongs to Christ. The life I am to live for Him. With the mind that is to love God wholly. How can I love the Lord with all my heart when I allow my thoughts to control my life, and when I allow thoughts that dishonor God to continue? I cannot.
Do you love the Lord with all your heart which is His greatest command? How about your mind? Is your mind controlling your life, and are your thoughts dishonoring to God? Or, are you using your mind to love and glorify God? Maybe you need to do what I did that day, and what I need to continue to do. Get rid of the thoughts that dishonor God and learn to let our minds be filled with thoughts that honor, glorify, and bring Him praise.